Sunday, July 20, 2008

Philadelphia Freak Folkers Gallop to Goodness

Right now in the City of Brotherly Love there is a great revival of psychedelic freak folk music. Bands like Dr. Dog and An American Chinese are raising the bar high for interesting pop sensibilities with a psychedelic touch. One such band, hailing from New Jersey but mainly working out of Philadelphia, Lemons are Louder than Rocks, are doing a great job of keeping the fire burning. Their blend of 60's folk guitars dipped in psychedlia with a tongue-in cheek vocal/lyrical content is a refreshing touch. Their firwst EP All My Old Friends showcased this and now their self-produced full length record Gallop follows with a steady stride.

The group has a strange sensibility to their music. The lyrics may seem silly at times, especially in the goofy yet catchy track "Roast Beef Sammich", but behind the silliness is a heartfelt touch. The titular track sets the pace for the albums tone. It's swirling organ back-up, trumpet blares and bouncy ryhthm lets us lucky listeners in on a feel good spirit. The freakout jam of "There is No Death For Me!" is followed up by the gentle and beautiful "Looking At Me." The gentle guitar riff and soft vocals are a great transition from the rest of the disc. The stand-out sing-along epic of "Keep My Bag" follows after with a catchy repeating piano and organ riff. It's toe-tapping goodness and reminds me of a campfire sing-along with everyone gathered around in camraderie and hopless romanticism. Another stand-out track is the album closer "Lewd Nudle" which shows the excellent musicianship of the band. It's a rollicking acid jam reminiscent of early Pink Floyd or Cream would rock out live.

Lemons Are Louder Than Rocks is the kind of feel good rock music that the Philadelphia area is teeming with and they prove that they are more than just a bunch of goofs with extremely catchy songs and lyrics you can relate to. Pop music should be so lucky to have such a growing culture of roots music like this.

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