Axxa/Abraxas take on modern Psychedelic, challenges even the greatest Psychedelic heroes to keep an eye on the genre’s newest pioneers.
Psychedelic is becoming increasingly difficult as a genre to stand out in, as next to every artist is harnessing the madness surrounded by the current on trend genre. The fusions of Blue’s Rock, or Indie Pop, even some heavier Rock that borders on near Metal haven’t escaped the wooziness of the 60’s historic genre. What the genre’s most recent revivalist, Tame Impala, have managed to achieve is re-creating Psychedelic without really re-creating it. Taking the important, essential parts of the genre’s beginnings and combining the modern sensibilities of Indie Rock. Foxygen followed this brilliant approach, when they released We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic, sticking to sounding as if the album was unearthed from an unreleased collection of 60’s records.
Axxa/Abraxas, have thankfully abided to the new-found rules of New-Wave Psychedelic, with an even heavier focus in deep-rooted Psychedelia, connected to the Progressive Rock styles of the early 70’s. I Almost Fell, falls under the title of ‘most modern sounding track’, happily piecing similarities to fellow Captured Tracks signings, Mac Demarco and DIIV, with a shared recognition for dreamy Pop anthems, layered with sun-kissed Psychedelia. On The Run mimics the smooth riding 50’s Rock n Roll that The Men have immersed themselves in, with a deeper influence from Jimi Hendrix’s God-worthy madness.
In between these two tracks, Axxa/Abraxas collects music history’s greatest pioneers together, creating what would have been a fairly influential album for the 60’s and 70’s. Beyond The Wind beckons Pink Floyd to jam with Jefferson Airplane, leading the album to dizzying possibilities with its slower tempo, enforcing the chilled out vibes that Psychedelic and Progressive Rock summons up. Same Signs, simmers with the Velvet Underground’s creativity, that doesn’t fail to ring similarities to Sunday Morning’s brilliance. So Far Away whirls up a frenzy of Psych-Rock hysteria, more relevant to this era rather than Pink Floyd’s, sit down and watch the room spin, drug trip.
Axxa/Abraxas’ self titled debut hums instead of shouting. The whole album relies on its jubilant energy from Summer infested guitar hooks, rather than raised vocals that catch unfamiliar listeners off guard, instead of easing them into one of the most wonderful music genres just as Tame Impala achieved with Elephant. I Almost Fell aids the transition of DIIV fans to move into the more historic backgrounds that Axxa’ provide on nearly every album track. It’s improbable to distance Axxa’ from Psychedelic’s beginnings and it’s most recent revival since 2010. Axxa’ however mirror their counterparts with their own easy feel approach, creating some distance (no matter how small) to produce an album of stunning proportions that can only lead to more stellar albums.