Monday, December 7, 2009


Friday, January 25, 2008 

Sydney-siders and genuine oddball psych-folk exponents Richard In Your Mind are a name that has been bandied around with increasing regularity these last few months, and for many good reasons. Most of these reasons, besides their memorable confetti-exploding live performances, are contained herein, on this superlative-inducing and (courtesy of the equally distinctive Greedy Hen) perfectly illustrated debut album. Their twisted yet almost-familiar sense of humour, imaginative arrangements, Curiosity Show-style approach to exploring their subjects and easy confidence are all striking hallmarks that have won them a minor legion of fans. Given their lack of Melbourne gigs they are not as well known here as Sydney though expect this to change during 2008.

The Future Prehistoric
is infused with a well constructed dreamy feel, more 70s-British kids TV than stoner or acid-inspired yet never too retro in its sound. A sense of playful abandon litters singer Richard Cartwright's lyrics and the band's music, taking a fascination with 'how' and 'why' to (often very) logical extremes. Many songs explore radiation, energy and science (The Green Sun, Dark Energy) and build new worlds where these plentiful ideas can be happily realised such as on The Valley and Tromboon). All of this comes together in an engaging and highly listenable way - particularly if you've ever imagined Cornershop and Ween collaborating on a Sci-Fi soundtrack. Though the occasional George Harrison-style wig-out may not be for all tastes, it all builds a compelling picture of an alternative reality that's hard to disregard. As they say themselves: "The pieces fit together just like playdoh," (Playdoh), and live they are never less than exciting.

It's when they find a blend of this sonic adventurousness and pop nous that they really shine, as they do in The New Sun, the song which won them the JJJ Unearthed competition in NSW and earned them a Big Day Out spot, as they do on Dark Energy, For When The Gizmo Is On The Fritz and The Boat Is Rocking. Sounding accomplished and fresh the many layers of sounds (typically sitar, percussion, limber basslines, synth burbles and drones, backwards tapes, guitar and vocal harmonies) are well-defined - a budget option could easily have rendered this a mess, but RIYM are clearly smart cats. Sounding like they're never happier than when they're experimenting by twisting a melody around some metaphysical pondering and constructing a suitably balmy backing, their approach is bound to find their fanbase growing exponentially over the next few years. Here's where it begins.

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