The new one from The Peacers, Introducing The Crimsmen, out Friday on Drag City, is the sort of album that is nearly impossible to describe. The lo-fi rewards here are such that the noise-y bits will appeal to one set of listeners, while the wildly melodic tunes will charm another. That this sort of dichotomy doesn't seem too jarring is one of the many reasons that the album is so successful.
If parts of this, like the skewed "Haptic Chillweed", owe huge debts to Syd Barrett and Ty Segall, then others, like the truly lovely "Staying Home", nod more in the direction of Roy Wood and John Lennon. The Peacers here cram a lot of ideas into material that remains largely concise. For every bit of warped pop that's here ("Windy Car"), there's something else ("Theme From Sonny", for instance) that offers up a flash of loveliness even as the odd bits come crashing in. At times, the specter of very early Pink Floyd looms so large that a cut, like "Aboriginal Flow", is nearly consumed in the influence-worshiping going on here. At others, the fellows in Peacers manage to harness this stuff and somehow shape the discordant bits into something that steers this side of coherence ("A Golden Age", "Child Of The Season"). Some of this ("Jurgen's Layout") very nearly suggests Bee Thousand-era Guided By Voices but where Pollard seemed to owe a huge debt to the legacy of The Beatles, the boys in Peacers clearly owe an even bigger one to Syd. There is just no getting around the one-time front-man of The Pink Floyd when listening to this new Peacers record. And I suppose a lot of you should be wise enough to read that as a compliment.
[Photo: Wen Gingeras]