Opening with diaphanous psychedelia laced with poppy vocals Richard In Your Mind’s debut LP My Volcano is an exploration of psychedelic rock, atmospheric pop, out-there electronica and the spaces where they all overlap.
The whole album has this sort of weird Beatles circa Magical Mystery Tour vibe to it; you have no idea where it’s ever going to go, and songs often drop into unexpected styles. Acoustic guitar is sort of a running theme, used in conjunction with a wide range of other instruments, the band taking a more textural approach to playing while still maintain a firm grip on the pop melodies that drive most of the songs.
The lyrics are a bit odd as well, for instance: “sometimes the omni-god, sometimes the plants and sometimes a new pair of pants”, and if I had to guess I would say a lot of the album is about LSD, or was influenced by it or something, I can’t really say. All I know is that the whole album just screams acid to me, acid in the Caribbean that is.
This mixture of trippyness and laid back island grooves makes for some perfect Sunday afternoon drinking tunes, and even though it might make your brain hurt at times, it hurts in a good way.
Currently touring with Cloud Control, the band have a been a stalwart fixture amongst the local live scene for years now and it’s great to see them realise their songs so well on record. Too often bands like this flounder when it comes to translating their music from a live language into the vernacular of the studio, but Richard In Your Mind seem fluent in such practices.
Aside form how well it’s all realised, the sheer ambition of the project beggars belief. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that this got made, I mean it makes no sense. “Yeah we’re making a psychedelic folk album with hip hop breaks, island jazz influences and lyrics about Candelabras,” who said yes to these people?
Regardless of who said yes, let’s just be thankful they did, as this album has a refreshing tone of originality and just general oddity and sense of humour to it that is direly needed in the local music scene today.
Where most bands today are looking to the past for inspiration, it would seem Richard In Your Mind are looking into some strange parallel future where Cuba has invaded England and made Abbey Road it’s headquarters.