Sadly lagging behind the times I finally had my ears opened to the following three albums. Better late than never I guess. These are releases that are simply too good to pass by unnoticed. Read On.
The Fast Camels – The Magic Optician
Originally released in the UK back in February 2007 (Neon Tetra Records) The Magic Optician is, if you missed it first time out, an album definitely worth getting to know. The Glasgow band formed in 2005; the following year they recorded this, their debut album. I just didn’t want you to miss it.
Having established themselves in the native Glasgow, The Fast Camels were picked up by several US and Canadian college radio shows. As a result they were selected as the only British representative to play at the 40th Monterey Pop Festival’s main stage alongside the likes of Jefferson Airplane and The Doors.
This fits in nicely with their list of influences which includes The Byrds, Airplane, Love, Moby Grape, and least surprising of all the late, great, revered, and weird Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd of course.
To make the point there is even a garden gnome of the front of The Magic Optician. Not that you need any extra pointers though. The Fast Camels are from my favourite place, Psychedelic Sixties Street. With full blown revisiting of the vibe of Londons’ UFO club, very early Floyd, their sound also combines huge nods to power pop. The result is intoxicating, and as addictive as the sixties themselves.
Just log on to the band MySpace page and listen to “Camera Assassin” and you will travel the same warped time tunnel that I have just experienced. Okay, it’s not on the album but there is plenty more that is.
The Magic Optician radiates a magical quality that it will take me a while to recover from. Highlights just shine out from every groovy groove on this album. Syd’s spirit is alive and well, and never more so than on “Like A Magic Optician”. I can almost see Syd, along with Roger Waters in that old black and white "Arnold Layne" video from God knows when. It’s like discovering some long lost, dust covered tape.