The Holydrug Couple - Hyper Super Mega - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Holydrug Couple - Hyper Super Mega

by Bill Golembeski Rating:8 Release Date:2018-09-14
The Holydrug Couple - Hyper Super Mega
The Holydrug Couple - Hyper Super Mega

This one is deeply woozy, and it makes me think about Kurt Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan and their alluring cosmic song. And it’s quite a lovely record.

It also conjures the memory of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Blue Jay Way,” and, perhaps, John Lennon’s solo songs like “Mind Games” and “#9 Dream.”

The band plays a juxtaposition of distant radio waves detected from an alien universe and beautiful acoustic sounds from the bowls of our dear Mother Earth. And these songs burn both fossil fuel and absorb solar energy to propel those deeply woozy melodies.

So, as Buddy Holly sang, “Oh Boy.” And, yeah, this s a nice record of a rock ‘n’ roll ride. And it’s, quite frankly, a wide berth tapestry of a psychedelic fabric ride. The songs flow like soft warm gauze that comforts a deep memory of a wound.

The band consists of two Chilean musicians: Ives Sepulveda on voice, guitar, bass, keys, and Mana Parra on percussion. Now, because of the diaphanous nature of this music, the songs do tend to melt into each other. The first six songs could easily be one continuous euphoric ride. The title cut “Hyper Super Mega” is the template: A bulging bass pumps bulging bass notes; the drums are slow, insistent, and lethargic; the vocals are distant and pleasantly weird, and keyboards swirl and bubble with cosmic sounds. And there are catchy melodies. “Waterfalls” is hummable in a lysergic sort of way, while a mellotron thickens the depth of the song to (almost) Procol Harum epic proportions. “Forever End” begins with big keyboards, and really, it does sound a bit like a continuation of the last song. But it’s a wonderous psychedelic vibe, so who’s complaining?

“Ikebana Telephone Line” is more direct, with demanding percussion and an interesting guitar and organ surface through the dense sound.

The same is true for “Lucifer’s Coat.” With its proggy organ intro, I half expected to hear Gary Brooker’s  “Whiter Shade of Pale” voice, but the tune is both brief and instrumental.

As stated, I suppose, these songs with their quasi-Eastern backward rain ambiance, do flow aimlessly into each other. But any album worth its salt will, of course, take its circular grooved time to reveal its secrets. And, because this record has that Eastern vibe, it may well be ponderous enough to require several reincarnations of the soul to fully grasp its beauty.

By the way, my friend, Kilda Defnut, wrote a children’s book for a local contest because she wanted the prize money and the gift certificate to a bike shop. And, quite frankly, this album would be the perfect soundtrack if Hollywood ever picked up the option. Her story is called Amos, the Friendly Black Hole, and its premise tells the tale of the black hole who doesn't want to destroy physics, eat entire galaxies, and pretty much crush everything in its path. But rather, in a kindly manner, Amos doesn't want to digest galaxies or crush anything; he simply wants to give kids on any given planet a funhouse ride and disrupt the laws of physics just enough to upset their teachers, which oddly, is sort of a definition of rock ‘n’ roll.

Sadly, she finished in third place just behind Oreo, the Cat Who Never Laughed. (Spoiler Alert: The cat does manage a chuckle on the final page!) And first place (along with the prize money and bike shop gift certificate) when to, of all things, The Inside Story of Noah’s Ark, which was just a pop-up book that showed, in pop-up detail, all the animal stalls and the more than spacious digs for Noah and his extended family.  

But, as the before-mentioned Kurt Vonnegut often said, “So it goes.”

So, yeah, as Sonny and Cher once sang, “The beat goes on,” and this is a psychedelic album that’s a bit of a softie, like my friend Kilda Defnut’s Amos, the Friendly Black Hole; so, it’s like soft warm gauze over deep space dark matter wounds.

Great John Lennon songs did the very same thing.

The rest of the album continues to spiral around like the universe, or for that matter, the growth rings of any given tree in any given forest. This is that kind of a record. “Easy” is quite acoustic. “Chevalier Soda” toughens things up a bit with strident chords. This is followed by “Hotel Cache,” which has a light piano heart. “Western Shade” is the grand instrumental prelude to the finale, “Memory Lake,” the song that quietly stirs all the moments of this album, and, I suppose, all the memories of any year’s thoughts into a lovely reverie of a song.

And, speaking of Kurt Vonnegut (again!), in his great novel, Sirens of Titan, he creates the Harmoniums, alien creatures who live in caves of the planet Mercury and live off the “nearly undetectable vibrations of the planet.” Well, I think those kindly Harmoniums would feast on the grooves of this record. Apparently, their entire vocabulary consists of two messages: The first is “Here I am.” And the second is “So glad you are.” This record, with its deep tapestry of beautiful sounds, somehow manages to sing the Sirens’ Songs and speak those simple and very kind words of those vibration hungry Harmoniums. This is a lovely, lysergic, and very soft and warm gauzy ride of an album.


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