Tuesday, 12 July 2016

WILD RACCOON – HALF PINE CONE (Howlin’ Banana Records LP, D/L).

This is so cool………………………stripping Garage/Psych back to its fundamental core of primitive beats and fuzzed out guitar Wild Raccoon (French multi-instrumentalist Raton Sauvage) brings a D.I.Y. ethic to the whole thing and performs as a one-man Garage band. With an impressive degree of co-ordination, Raton plays the drums with his feet, stomping on drum pedals for a solid snare and bass drum backbeat while playing fuzz ‘n’ reverb soaked guitar and singing……………………check the various Wild Raccoon videos on YouTube, it’s quite a sight. Following last year’s debut, Mount Break, Wild Raccoon return with a second album on Howlin’ Banana Records……….Half Pine Cone is a collection of new songs about heartbreak, love, hitch-hiking, woods and…….err…… squirrels that reduces the records of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees down their essential base elements. This is a very impressive record with a great deal of inventiveness and flair from Raton Sauvage that elevates this from yer usual Neanderthal Garage/Punk grooves………the use of loops (for example Tablas on ‘Hitch-Hike Syndrom’) and swirling Acid Rock guitar puts Wild Raccoon way ahead of the Punk/Thrash pack and subtle use of space takes many of the tracks into the areas usually reserved for Kosmik Soundz and dreamlike Psychedelia. The stand-out tracks here have to be the stripped down and twisted cover of the Jefferson Airplane Psychedelic classic ‘How Do You Feel’ and the tripped out ‘Question Mark Mountain’ amongst a whole host of other great tunes. Beautiful and brutal in equal measures…………..well worth a listen.

Out now, Half Pine Cone is available on vinyl from the Howlin’ Banana Records Bandcamp page here https://howlinbananarecords.bandcamp.com/album/half-pine-cone with a digital download available from Wild Raccoon https://wildraccoon.bandcamp.com/.


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