Friday, October 27, 2006
Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 - Ole! Tarantula
Chances are, Robyn Hitchcock has been rocking since before you were born (or at least, before you knew that there was more to music than Fraggle Rock). Hitchcock, a psychedelic legend, has been making music for almost 30 years. The most obvious psychedelic rocker, Syd Barrett, is dead, but Hitchcock lives. Why are we still talking about the dead guy, when this album rocks your psychedelic socks off (you know, the rainbow knee socks with the toes)?
Teaming up with the quite capable The Venus 3, comprised of REM’s Peter Buck, as well as Scott McCaughey and Bill Riflin, all of whom are also members of The Minus 5 (yes, it’s like a bad math problem), Robyn Hitchcock creates a rocking, musically superior record. From the poppy opener “Adventure Rocket Ship” to the undeniably pleasing piano on “Belltown Ramble”, Ole! Tarantula does not fail to define the alt-pop formula Hitchcock has been refining his entire career. The title track is a total winner, bound to make even the most jaded, good-music-hoarding hipster want to share this precious jewel with everyone. The latter part of the album shines, including the harmonious “’Cause It’s Love (Saint Parallelogram)” and “NY Doll”, a contradicting love-tinged yet sensational ode to the late bassist of the New York Dolls.
Throughout, Ole! Tarantula takes twists and turns throughout various genres and remains lyrically complex, complimented by great musical performing, including the classic guitar work by Buck. But it is easily digested and incredibly loveable. Prepare to scoff at anyone who won’t shut up about Syd Barrett.