Last year, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ set out on a new project: to release four EPs in a 12-month period, each focusing on a different theme and style of music. Songs from the Psychedelic Time Clock is the third one, and takes the listener on a trip to the psychedelic ’60s, complete with swirling guitars, sitars, and killer harmonies. Close your eyes and you may picture those melting colors and images you either experienced yourself or have seen on movies and video clips from the ’60s.
It is an amazing feat for a band that wasn’t even around until the ’80s.
The EP starts out strong with Kevin Kinney reminiscing about “The Little Record Store Just Around the Corner” as the distorted guitars set the time and mood. The cleverly titled “Metamorphcycle” benefits from the dense wall of sound and inventive percussion to create a soundtrack fit for a “happening.”
Next come my two favorite songs. The first is “Upside Down Round and Round,” with a sound that evokes The Byrds and the more trippy Beatles songs with the jangling guitars and mystical sitar adding a different level to the pop sound. This song is the sort of tune you would have heard on AM radio as well as at clubs and street gatherings.
My second favorite is “Sometimes the Rain (Is Just the Rain).” I love the lyrics and the softer psychedelic sound that reminds me of songs like “Green Tambourine” that were everywhere in that time when reality was not very solid and you needed a reminder sometimes that everything didn’t always have a deeper meaning.
The next song, “In the Sound Room,” brings the listener closest to the band’s most familiar sound, with heavy guitars and percussion and Kinney growling the lyrics. It fits well with the last tune, “The Psychedelic Time Clock,” a surf punk instrumental that is great fun to listen to.
All three recordings have been great fun to hear and have really showcased the versatility of the band. So while waiting for the fourth and final EP, get Songs from the Psychedelic Time Clock and pick up Songs from the Laundromat and Songs About Cars, Space and The Ramones as well!