Artist: Electric Jaguar Baby
Album: Psychic Death Safari
Released: October 7th, 2022
Location: Paris, France
With a band name like Electric Jaguar Baby, an album title like Psychic Death Safari and an album cover like the one above its fairly obvious that this album is going to contain a certain level of fuzz.
The Parisian acid/garage/fuzz rock duo of Antoine D’Aiello and Franck Devaux present us with an album that sounds like so many bands you know and love while also somehow feeling unique and fresh. I think it’s the blend of familiarity and innovation that makes their music so very special and gives it a sort of surreal nostalgia. The duo state that their sound is “a gang-bang withTy Segall, Josh Homme, Jack White and Ozzy Osbourne” and I have to wholeheartedly agree. However, I would also throw some Nirvana and The Doors inspirations into that already complex hodgepodge of influences. The result of this blend is a release where every song is different enough to the last that it never feels vageuly dull or repetitive but there’s enough uniformity between the tracks that the album still feels cohesive and well thought out.
For me there are three primary elements that make the album so enthralling, the first of which should be immediately obvious to any fans of this style of music. I’m of course talking about the guitar work, which on this album is not only excellent, but happens to be incredibly diverse. There’s a huge variety of different guitar tones and techniques on display here as the band work their way through music from the 60s right through to 90s. The second element is the album’s vocals, which are almost as varied as the guitarwork. These shift their sound and presentation to suite whatever the instrumentals are doing, giving each song that much more variety. The third element is the album’s production and recording style, which makes it feel as if it could have come from the 60s or 70s and brings a level of authenticity and immersiveness to the whole thing.
There are too many solid songs on the album to pick a top three so instead I’ll briefly break down a few of my favourites and what makes them special. In order of appearance Sundaze (feat Luca of Go!Zilla) has a psyched out, experimental feel to it and embraces the weirdo side of the genre. Shiver River has a fuzzed-out sound to it but something about its energy feels grungy to me and the drums absolutely rule. Jaguars Boogie is a genuinely fun track that has a real old school 60s boogie down feel to it (hence the title). Slinky Shadows is the track that makes me thing of Nirvana on the album, but in a reality where they employed a bunch of fuzz rock elements into their sound. Lazarus (feat Jed of ZigZags) has what I believe to be the best riffs on the album and will keep you coming back for more. Cannibal Animal has a bluesy 70s rock feel to it and a slight goth rock tinge. Lastly, we have Magik Queen which has a more spacey psyched out vibe and some Doors influences.
Overall, I was a big fan of this album and hope that there’s another coming soon, because I need more of this in my life. If you’re a fan of classic old school acid/garage/fuzz rock, then you’re going to love everything about Psychic Death Safari.
Listen to and order the album: