The latest offering from the prolific garage label, Castleface, is Burnt Ones’ Gift. The first song, “Pulse”, starts with a buzzy synth, followed by a rumbling drum beat. Then comes that first jangle guitar clang, marking the beginning of what is the best psych rock album so far this year. It’s jangly, it’s floaty, it’s woozy, and boy is it smoky. Gift is Burnt Ones’ 3rd album, but the 1st on Castleface. It’s a perfect storm really, a highly entertaining mix of audible influences that sounds new, yet familiar. It bounces between the Syd Barrett-era Floyd, the Kinks, all those Nuggets groups, and the band’s label brethren. There’s not one bad song either. “Pulse” is a fantastic opener, “Us Wheels” is a whispy cloud ride, “Submarine” could have been written by Syd Barrett himself, and “New Heroes of Subscription Services” is the Megaman soundtrack becoming a pot anthem. Gift is consistent and coherent, the product of a band who knows what they’re doing. There’s a lot of garage rock revival albums out there, but Gift rises above. With its alloy of influences as well as catchy songwriting and a fantastic production, Gift inspires a lazy hazy smoke-all-day feeling perfect for some rigorous activity like looking at clouds and laughing at nothing.
Recommended Tracks: 13, 1, 3, 9, 11, everything else
RIYL: White Fence, The Kinks, Magical Mystery Tour, early Pink Floyd