Published Jun 01, 2016You could be excused for thinking that Monolith of Phobos, the debut album from Primus mastermind Les Claypool and The GOASTT's Sean Lennon, was made with the assistance of some psychedelic substances. But, as the duo told Rolling Stone Australia in May, the only mushrooms these two were feasting on while writing were the porcinis they discovered on long walks together through the countryside.
Created at Claypool's home in rural California and fuelled by copious amounts of pinot noir (brewed by the bass player himself), Monolith of Phobos finds the fringe alt-rock/psych-pop players catering to each other's strengths on their new record, delivering an album filled with wonky, whammy-assisted bass lines and melodic guitar noodling. At its best, it sounds like a long-lost Pink Floyd album actually meant to be synced to The Wizard of Oz (the album's title track and "Mr. Wright"); at its worst, it evokes old Tame Impala (the first movement of "Cricket And The Genie" and "Boomerang Baby"). Basically, it's a win-win situation either way.
It's an intoxicating listen, but contradictory as it may seem, there's a continuing lyrical theme on Monolith of Phobos about the dangers of prescription drugs and Big Pharma. It's not a very rock'n'roll message, which may dissuade some, but it further cements the idea that you don't need to go out of your head to sound as out there as these guys. (ATO Records)