The Chemistry Set - The Endless More and More

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2016-01-04

The Set have been raising eyebrows and collecting accolades for nearly 30 years and Fruits De Mer have been the recipients of their recent efforts (five singles and numerous compilation appearances in the past few years), some of which are included here, supplement by additional newbies to make a psychedelic dozen that’s as fresh as they day they were born back in 1987. Opener ‘The Splendour of The Universe’ is a perfect liftoff, full of floating riffs, swirling guitars and tight harmonies – toss in a few backwards guitars and several other psychedelic psixties fx and this trip is off to a great start.

‘The Fountains of Neptune’ sounds like vintage Kula Shaker at full tilt boogie, with strident vocals, serpentining keyboards, and more fx than a TV network (inside joke for Yanks). The band said they wanted to “capture our brand of Psychedelia, from the Syd Barrett / Soft Boys to Butterfly-era Hollies to Traffic” and this one is chock full of early Floydian pyrotechnics. ‘International Release’ lightens things up a bit with a stomping power pop sheen that crosses The Beat with Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello, right down to the Steve Nieve-styled cheesy keyboard flourishes.

Shimmering guitars and yearning vocals lift ‘Time To Breathe’ to “higher” ground and Church territory, while ‘Winter Sun’ reminds of Paul Weller at his most revealing, heartfelt, and delicate; and ‘Albert Hoffman’ perfectly en-capsule-ates a trip on a white bicycle with a head full of wonder stuff.

‘A Cure For The Inflected Afflicted’ roughs things up quite a bit, with a Dylanesque scream-of-consciousness overload, a la ‘It’s All Right Ma’ with guitars firing vicious fireworks on all cylinders, although the album’s three-year gestation results in a few anachronistic tracks that are out-of-place, particularly the bar room swagger of the country-tinged ‘Crawling Back To You’. But then all is set right with the infectious singalong and powerful arm-waving, lighter burning rush of ‘Elapsed Memories’. Finally, crawl off to the nearest ‘Open Window’, assume the cross-legged position, and groove to the tabla, sitar, cotton-mouthed vocals, and dreamy atmospherics of ‘The Open Window’ and shout it to the world that you’ve just enjoyed the first great release of the new year and you ARE gonna take it lying down, thank you!

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