White Fence

Cyclops Reap

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AllMusic Review by

The ever prolific psychedelic wizard behind White Fence, Tim Presley, meant his first album of 2013 to be a collection of older tracks that had yet to see the light of day. Somewhere during the process of picking songs that had fallen in the cracks between albums, he decided to switch it up and Cyclops Reap became a batch of his most recently recorded tracks (barring one that was done way back in 2009) and stands as one of his most cohesive and enjoyable albums. Presley has always mixed hooks in with his cheaply recorded psychedelic explorations, making sure that listeners didn't just admire his ability to conjure up what the Seeds would have sounded like if recorded in someone's bathtub, but that they also had lots of melody and good old-fashioned tunes to latch onto as well. This time out, Presley ramps up the hook quotient with bubblegummy songs like "Pink Gorilla," good-timey country psych rambles, and gleaming folk-rock janglers knocking up against his usual high-quality trippy nuggets. It's not too different than anything Presley has done before; there's just a tighter focus to the sound overall to go along with the satisfyingly consistent tunes. That's not to say he's cleaned things up any -- it still has the feel of late-night bedroom sessions recorded quietly enough that they wouldn't disturb his roommate's cat -- but there are fewer stray notes and glitches. White Fence may release a ton of albums but each one is loaded with gems that any lover of psychedelic pop should discover, fidelity be damned! Cyclops Reap may be the best place for newcomers to start, but anyone who's been along for the ride since the beginning will be thrilled to hear Presley's (slight) progression. And they'll be happy to hear another great batch of songs, maybe his best yet.

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