The Ketamines have continued to step up their game this year with an impressive number of releases following their excellent full length release You Can't Serve Two Masters. They've managed to bring together FOUR labels in service of a full lengths worth of material across just as many singles. Their latest "So Hot!" on Hosehead Records is also a new step in the bands evolution, that caveman not only got upright, but found an astronaut helmet and a double neck twelve string flying V. The melodic fuzzy psych palette on Spaced Out exploded into catchy gleaming complex pop. I think I understand that title now, there isn't enough vinyl to press up other bands records, they need your complete attention. Bow down to The Ketamines.
"So Hot" kicks this off with a haunted surf sound and the band's distanced 'ooooooooo's'. Ghostly, precise jagged guitar and a jittery vocal. A crazy primitive rhythm sets up this jokey delivery of their response to Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher":
Teach on teachers
Bloodshot bloodshot and hooking up so hot
then you realize
YOU HAD TO GET A JOB
Thundery electric distortion punctuated by shimmery wah, swapping sounds measure for measure. 'Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh HOT!'. killer chanting that may have begun in pop psych but is an entirely new unrecognizable beast. A musical sabbath reference with a snotty punk Question Mark and the Mysterians. A hammond melody carves out the beginning of "New Skull Tattoo" and the vocals follow this jabbed rhythm in a chanting Devo sound, willing to give in to this robotic hilarious track about a painfully located tattoo. Needles don't have far to go until they hit bone there. This could be the aftereffects bouncing around his head with the heaviest echo drum and high hat chirps, with more of a wacky attitude with the instrumental chops to take this to a new level. They just don't want to sing another love song or bury the vocal back on reverb distortion island. They have something to say and it's wacky and loveable. Like Wounded Lion and Intelligence it's an ageless addictive dopey sound.
I thought "Summer Mothers" was a romantic track until the lyric unfolded with 'some will be mothers?' Is that because they got knocked up? An entirely Ketamines idea on summer love. Great slicing sine wave synth cuts through the fast sweep of jangle on this jaunty track with slightly distorted vocals. Sunny memories of the beach, going for the vocals and single note melodies. That backup rhythm guitar and synth working in pure indie nostalgia, a real fitting end to this ride. Anything's possible here, even a little regret leaves you with this faded polaroid track of the whole damn escape. Was it worth it? Of course you jackass...and this is just one slice of that four single pie.
Pick this up, import only from Canada on Hosehead Records.
Check out the A-Side track, So Hot below: