Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Merge Their Sounds To Make Near Perfect Album

4.8 out of 5 stars

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (PPC) have been an absolute gem of a band for about a decade now, but I only heard of them as of early last year when they released their album Shyga! The Sunlight Mound which I consider to be an absolutely perfect album. 

I just mention that to say that it is a tough act to follow, but PPC’s newest album Night Gnomes is a stellar follow up, and longtime fans will probably like this album more than Shyga!, but my tastes may be a little different than theirs.

I will mention right up front that I think my favorite two songs of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets actually reside on Night Gnomes though. Of course, I say that, but that’s like saying, “What’s the best sex you ever had?” Shit, there’s a lot of good times in there.

But to my point, I think that “Bubblegum Infinity” and “Acid Dent” are incredible songs as is much of this album, but those two stand out as just two incredible songs on an already outstanding album.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I give this album a perfect score again, but it’s not for lack of excellent content. I think it’s all pretty damn good. I just have to look at the 5.0 albums I put it against and see if it stacks up all the way through. It’s close, but just not quite perfect.

The album starts with sort of an “intro” song with “Terminus, The Creator” that musically is outstanding, but as far as subject matter, there isn’t much there to really dig into. A good jam to get started though.

Next comes “Lava Lamp Pisco” which is definitely a rocker song that discusses the “evil living” of having to go to work. I think the sentiment would be something about the unnecessary lives humans have created for themselves to work in a box for money to buy things that aren’t needed. So, why do it?

“Dread & Butter” is up next, and this is actually a really, really good song as well. It’s reminiscent of “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis musically for me, but the song is about what happens when we die and do we get to replay our lives and see ourselves growing up and such. Pretty cool concept.

“Bubblegum Infinity” kind of takes the next step from there and talks about the meaning of life and who has the authority or ability to speak upon the existential problems of mankind. The lines: “Do you inhale? / Do you exhale?/ Then you qualify / to give me any suitable advice,” feels like a pretty good way to say, “None of us should go through life with a fixed mindset.”

The title track “Night Gnomes” seems like a bit of a daydream scenario about looking at the lawn (“garden” in UK/Australia speak) with yard gnomes and shrubs and such and creating a bit of a story out of the scenario. Absolutely reminds me of a Les Claypool (of Primus) solo song called, “Granny’s Little Yard Gnome.”

The next track is a good one as well. Titled, “Bob Holiday” it is a song completely devoid of being associated with the former Superman actor. As Jack McEwan told us, it was just a cool sounding name for the song. The song is definitely a rocking tune. It may also be one of my favorite tracks PPC have ever made.

“Microwave Dave” is the story of modern man, basically. How we rely on technology and keep our brains from thinking too deeply by distracting ourselves with entertainment and politics just to pass the time. It somehow reminds me of an Arctic Monkeys style song. Not sure why, but coincidentally the only two songs I know that mention the word “settee” are by these two bands (“Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys mentions spilling drinks on a settee).

“Acid Dent,” as I mentioned, is a rocking song, and it actually has a cohesive narrative about how the words someone uses can be like “acid” and make everything around them negative and erode the fun and joy of life around them. Much like acid does to physical objects. Very, very clever songwriting, in my opinion.

The rest of the album is a lot of instrumentation which is definitely a call back to earlier albums, and they are good songs, but my only “gripe” might be that it kind of ends the album with a bit of an anti-climactic sensation audibly. I understand the album’s arc and why they are at the end, but it just kinda means that the album fizzles out instead of punctuating itself.

I will say, the album is utterly amazing, and I know I will be listening to it over and over again. If you want to hear one of the best albums of the year, you need to listen to Night Gnomes by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.