Psychedelic Porn Crumpets' Latest Album Takes Listeners Through an Existential Crisis

By Rachel Laurie

(Photo by Tristan McKenzie)

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, a band with possibly the most eye-catching and memorable name, released their fourth album earlier this year. On it, they stayed true to their blend of psychedelic noise rock while simultaneously creating music that holds the attention spans of multi-genre listeners. This is a daunting task that is not often achieved, but SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound pulls it off with 40 minutes of existential-themed songs that encapsulate the feelings of crisis and revelation.


The Australian quintet kicks the album off with a blatant display of their ability to mix catchy melodies with the strange. “Big Dijon” has a dark omnipresence that makes it feel like we’re about to go on a discovery — which, spoiler alert, will be a trippy one with lots of detours along the way. From there, the songs are reminiscent of Tame Impala and Muse, while still possessing the experimental sound and off-kilter guitar riffs that are unique to Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.

The second track, “Tally-Ho,” is a catchy and upbeat song that immediately hooks the listener in. It channels a modern version of prog rock as it changes style and tempo. While being experimental in their songs, the group keep their works shorter than other prog rock and psychedelic bands often do; this makes their songs pack even more of a punch as they masterfully invoke different instruments, genres, and melodies throughout their albums.


Following, “Triplosour” is rock-heavy and contains a brief pause near the end that builds up to a dramatic finish, signifying a transition into the psychedelia sound that slowly becomes more prevalent as the album continues. The next track, “Mr. Prism,” introduces added sound effects, which appear on a number of songs in the bottom half of the album. But it’s not just these various musical instruments, sound effects, and riffs that will impress listeners — it’s also the fact the lead singer Jack McEwen understands how to use his voice as an instrument and creates unique melodies that harmonize with the guitar riffs, too.


That’s not to say the lyrics are any less powerful, either. Ultimately, SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound paves a story of the human experience; it asks a question with an unknown answer, such as, “What is the point of it all?” I wish I could say the album ends on a happy note, but instead, the band opts for a realistic ending.


For example, “Glitter Bug” encapsulates the burning need to experience more, while still holding on to continuity. The lyrics, “Infinite weekends all interlinking/I need to go where I haven't been before,” show us the trap of routine, the desire to not feel suffocated, and ultimately, to be free. The song continues with, “DMT in your garden Friday nights/Is a good laugh/But it ain't clearing up my thoughts/It lets the moths in and they eat all my work shirts whole/But I am told/You won’t suffer if you keep marching.” With moments such as this, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets create a visual experience that is relatable to everyone. Here, they speak of distracting yourself just enough to keep going while what is eating at you still impacts your life.


Additionally, the band aren’t shy to pinpoint the harsher aspects of accepting life throughout this record. The last song, a prog rock ballad titled “The Tale of Gurney Gridman,” gives us the lines, “Isn't life strange, how/It starts to make sense?/You work it all out/And then you get old and forget.” These lyrics are reminiscent of the existential themes of Father John Misty and Neutral Milk Hotel. Lovers of truthful anecdotes about life and death will enjoy the upbeat tunes and melancholic lyrics.

As an added bonus, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ creativity and experimentation don’t stop at their music. Filmmaker Oliver Jones teamed up with the group to create claymation music videos that are just as beautiful and strange as the album. Videos were made for the tracks “Mr. Prism,” “Tally-Ho,” and “Pukebox.” The bright, trippy, and dark undertones of the storylines make the songs even more impressive as you embrace the psychedelic fade out of reality.

SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound is now available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music, and their music videos are available on YouTube. Vinyls, CDs, and merch are available on the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ website.


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