Trappist Afterland - Like A Beehive, The Hill Was Alive - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Trappist Afterland - Like A Beehive, The Hill Was Alive

by Jim Harris Rating:7 Release Date:2014-03-03

So much so-called psychedelia today is really just influenced by late 90s BJM or those soundscapes from the guitars of Slowdive and Ride and such. But I would suspect that Trappist Afterland get their influence not from Anton or MBV but from the place true psychedelic music come from - mushrooms. I’ve never been to Australia but I guess that, since TA come from there, they have, amid kangaroos and koalas, psychotropic shrooms the size of foot-stools.

I’m just funning here, but I seriously can’t stop listening to Like a Beehive, the Hill Was Alive. I don’t know what’s in the water in Australia but I have now added Trappist Afterland to The Morning After Girls and the Lovetones, as can’t stop listening to Australian Bands. While the latter two bands play so-called neo-psychedelic music, TA’s latest album is pure unadulterated psych with odd string instruments; flutes; whistles; bells tinkling; forlorn Hare Krishna chants; obtuse religious references ("Without my Lord my ship would sink… The mystic ring around the lake..."), all while roadies, no doubt, chant in the background. 

In short, a true hippy band, bro. I would be very surprised if they don’t have long beards, headbands, wear long, quilted robes and sit cross-legged on the stage as their non-musical bandmates pass out flyers of Christ’s return and where to find organic fruit. I haven’t bothered to Google them as I don’t want my visual bubble busted.

And I love every song, even the ridiculously titled ‘He Opened Not His Mouth (Isiah 53:1-3)', where a sitar plays and they mumble about speaking in tongues and shit. Even that works for me on some level. I often get accused of speaking in tongues, especially at particularly contentious project meetings.

The music Trapped Afterland create is very hypnotic and rich and, while I just sort of look around when they have an abundance of lyrics such as: “I feel like a sketch... lalala... Without any shading”,  the understated richness of the multitude of odd and compelling vocals and instruments makes it all work.  

Don’t pass Trappist Afterland up if you truly want a heavy, melodic dose of authentic modern psychedelic music. While they advertise themselves as producers of spirit music for the dispossessed (Not exactly the target audience for great financial reward...), they have a marketable musical product here which is well worth listening to by any fan of late 60s pop music at its purest. 

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