Words by Bryan Crawford

Los Angeles, CA — Ever wish life was filled with flashbacks? For those of you who have gone to one too many Phish shows I suppose it already could be. But for the rest, watching barefoot Aussie boys Tame Impala play in their first headlining US tour this past year, it was a visceral reaction to the reverberating, intoxicating melodies that came from onstage.

The Australian foursome cites influence from bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Shadows, and The Flaming Lips, but who doesn’t? Their I-don’t-know-what is that from those iconic inspirations they’ve created a sound all their own.


The band began their sold out show at the Echoplex in mid-December with “It Is Not Meant to Be,” off their debut EP Innerspeaker (Modular). The first of many awesomely ethereal tunes starts with the phase shifting guitar melody, grows with fat kicks and snare hits, and then everything drops out. Kevin Parker (lead vocals/guitar) comes in, admittedly moaning: “I wanted her/ But she doesn’t like the life that I lead. Doesn’t like sand stuck on her feet/Or sitting around smoking weed.”

The Echoplex’s front 50 feet were crammed with head-nodding hipsters while Tame Impala played surprisingly studio-like renditions of “Lucidity” and “Solitude Is Bliss.” Their last show of the tour ended with a cover of Massive Attack’s “Angel,” and, not the type to beguile an already rock-weary audience, they confessed there would be no encore because they simply “hadn’t rehearsed one.”

Tame Impala has built an international audience in its short time touring but they’ve received a particularly warm western welcome this year, playing sold out shows in New York and Los Angeles, to name a few. Perhaps this year fickle American music fans were ready to humbly accept another Australian ensemble – but I hope the reason is that their sound is simply too strong; too undeniably intriguing. It’s a cleverly unique blend of both the progressive and classic. Pick up Innerspeaker at your local record store. You’ll be glad you did.

LA’s own Rainbow Arabia opened the evening’s live music with her simple, trippy tunes, reminiscent of Lykke Li and Fever Ray. It was a short but exceedingly enjoyable set. More please.


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