Tadpoles

Far Out

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For their second album, Hoboken psych rockers Tadpoles lost a member (third guitarist Andrew Jackson) and gained another pair of songwriters; where singer Todd Parker had written the entire first album save one Glen Campbell cover, on Far Out his partners Nick Kramer and David Max add their own imprimaturs. Kramer's two solo compositions, "4D" and "Clea," are atmospheric space rock very much in the Spacemen 3 tradition, while Max's three co-compositions with Parker bring a downright poppy sensibility more akin to the Bevis Frond's more hummable tunes. In fact, the one-two punch of the shuffling, wah-wah-heavy "Race You to the Mustard Patch" and the almost Syd Barrett-like "At Least I'm Not Like Jonathan Carver," which pulls the "Astronomy Domine" trick of shifting from a delicate, floating intro into a heavy-riffing climax, opens the album so strongly that the other seven songs suffer a bit in comparison. Varied and richly textured psychedelia that isn't content with merely parroting the clich├ęs of the style, Far Out shows Tadpoles to be one of the most intriguing psychedelic outfits of their time.

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