The Virgineers are Ken Zawacki (vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion) and Bruce Lash (vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards, percussion). The closest antecedent to the territory this dynamic duo from Chicago is now claiming for itself was originally staked out and pretty much defined wholesale by both the Beatles (1967-1969) and early Pink Floyd (to name two major influences), but there's much more here than a retroactive "magical mystery tour" across the typical psych-pop tundra usually reveals. The real beauties come midway through the disc, so turn off your mind, relax, and yes, float downstream... The playful "Floating" is vaguely reminiscent of the Monkees' "Porpoise Song," and could have been cut from the same acid-dripped blotter that Syd Barrett and the early Floyd sampled (along with John Lennon, circa "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"), while the "Nowhere Man"-meets-"Major Tom"-themed "Plasticman" blends more Floyd-ian atmosphere (circa Dark Side of the Moon) and gorgeous solo McCartney-style vocals/piano with brittle Fripp & Eno-esque guitars, this before giving way to more Floyd-esque ambience for the space rock futurama of "How Far Does Space Go?" Next, as you float along, note that here, there, and everywhere are swelling mellotron fills (by guest player Ray Muirwood), Eastern-informed drones and melodies, close harmonies, reverberating guitars, and Plasticine melodies to die for. Check out those strummy acoustic guitars in "The Morning Moon," with its layer upon layer of gorgeous harmony vocals, tabla, sitar, and moody "Blue Jay Way"-style vocals. Or, the bouncy, sinister "Dr. Glouster," which might remind some of the Kinks' Village Green days but also vaguely sounds like another lost Monkees track circa Head ("What does he bury in the yard?"), with rollicking carnival sideshow keyboards, tack piano, and Sgt. Pepper-y horn arrangements.
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AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas