ImaJinary Friends

Lunchtime in Infinity

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Imajinary Friends are a psychedelic juggernaut -- which is not surprising, considering this is a band featuring former members of deluded psych-folksters the Brian Jonestown Massacre, trip-hop lounge lizards Tipsy, and even the drummer from Swervedriver, that late great shoegaze originator who brought the rawk to the genre. But this is no paisley Summer of Love psychedelia; this is pure "Alice down the rabbit hole" brown-acid bad trip. This is Lunchtime in Infinity, an apt title for the psilocybic delights found within. After a brief false lull of an intro, "New Fast Car" drops a bassline straight out of Primal Scream's recent strobe-light frenzies, sending the listener on a full-throttle hell ride accompanied by abrasively high-end distorted vocals and bee swarm wah-wah guitar. "Faked Out" further develops the formula into near formlessness, with distant chain-saw guitars and vocals mangled beyond all recognition that would do the Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes proud, the only constant being a hypnotic rhythm section appropriately evoking both Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and the Doors' "The End." "Silence Is Golden Applesauce" brings listeners down from the initial drug rush to drift aimlessly yet pleasantly along with jangling and feedbacky guitars, meandering flute, and more unintelligible vocals. The last few tracks are more experiments than songs, leaving the listener, sobering up by now, wishing for more exercises in pummeling Spacemen 3 repetition. Not quite long enough to be called an LP but not short enough for an EP, this -- their debut effort -- is indeed a heavy trip.

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