The Green Tambourine Band - ...Let Yourself Be/Aum - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Green Tambourine Band - ...Let Yourself Be/Aum

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2016-01-20

Within the overwhelming current pandemic of psychedelic bands popping up, he bands seem to fall into one of two aspects of the psychedelic genre. They are either reviving and re-inventing the classic 1966-1968 sound or are taking psychedelia into a new direction, experimenting with new technology and songwriting that reflects current times.

In regards to Edinburgh’s The Green Tambourine Band, they tend to sway towards the former aspect. Their sound harks back to the times when everything was all purple and hazy. The experimental elementalists, namely Jack Burns, Liam Payne, Murray Pettit, and Ross Lynchehaun, claim to produce their music using vintage and analogue equipment.

Their first record, released originally in 2014, is available for free via the bands label website, holds 10-tracks comprising of 7 original songs and a mini instrumental three part jam suite. The dawn riser ‘You Are The One That I Love To Love’ followed by the steady plodding trippy ‘The Seed Into The Flower’ with come-down slowly Simon and Garfunkel harmonies with a spaced out guitar motif and orchestral tom-toms. The bright and jangly ‘I’m Free’ inclines itself to The Beatles influence in many ways, yet it is a refreshing summer friendly song, also equally full of sunshine goodness is ‘I Want You to Be’.

Some of the songs recall Arthur Lee’s Love in regards to the quirky lyricism, spacious complimentary instrumentation and indelible melodies, synchronised by the tight-knit three part harmonies. You could easily imagine the band sporting ear to ear smiles making the album, and this evident cheekiness can be seen in the speedy and suddenly abrupt organ jam ‘Lemon Sorbet’, the jangly pop spinner ‘Here She Comes’  has The Byrds meets Cast tainted throughout. ‘Through The Looking Glass’ comes across to what sounds like a meditative intro within a Zen Garden replete with woody flutes, water fountain trickles and bird song, which soon becomes halted and morphs into a backwards guitar loop instrumental.

The latter three part musical suite entitled ‘AUM’ may cause listeners to light incense sticks, sit cross-legged on a Persian rug, eyes closed and drift off into another dimension.  ‘Part A’ -  starts from a quote sample stating ‘ My whole ambition is for Love’, then straight into a wah-wah guitar, bubbly bass and funky drum groove bearing a similarity to 90’s dance cult classic ‘Indian Vibes’ by Mathar. ‘Part U’ – Continues that original groove now switching to acoustic guitars, sitars and bongos, and possibly a mellotron organ Indian melody. ‘Part M’ – starts off discordant and then finalises with a lilting wah-wah guitar, bass and drums funky backdrop to end with a short consciousness speech snippet, followed by happy playing children tacked on the end.

With due credit to The Green Tambourine Band, It is tempting to refer to this debut album as a concept album. Though it is not pretentious in anyway shape or form, Let Yourself Be/ Aum does well in warmly inviting us to re-embrace and appreciate how the albums of yesteryear were organically shaped and readily delivered an anticipated listening experience.

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