For their second record (following 2011's 8th Cloud), the Belgian psych-poppers known as Bed Rugs took their quickly recorded songs to the Bees' Paul Butler for mastering. It was a wise move, as he gave the songs on Rapids a woody, organically layered sound that calls to mind the classic psych of the '60s, but also the Elephant 6 sonic travelers of the '90s, not to mention a fair amount of the Rugs' contemporaries. Bands like Tame Impala are making a living off this kind of approach, and while Bed Rugs won't make the same kind of impact, the work they are doing here is just as good. Maybe even more tuneful and immediate, since their main focus is the song, not the sound. Apart from "Rapids," which is a couple minutes of backwards guitars and water noises, the songs here are sharply melodic and memorable. Full of chiming guitars and warmly recorded vocals, the EP has a relaxed feel even on the uptempo rocker "Yawn" and the epic-length "Tell," which ends the album on a stretched-out yet still very hooky (thanks to the lovely vocal harmonies) note. It's a small step on from the slightly over-produced sound of 8th Cloud and thanks to their label, Ample Play, likely to get more notice, too. Bed Rugs might not make you forget Tame Impala or Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but any song on Rapids will certainly fit in perfectly slotted next to them on the haziest and most pleasantly laid-back and nostalgic mixtape of the summer of 2013.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra