Review: Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
Published on March 14th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Idaho’s Trevor Powers enlists Animal Collective and Deerhunter producer Ben H Allen for an emboldening of the felty, sepia-tinted psych-pop that inhabited his 2011 debut The Year of Hibernation, and it’s a venture that proves to be largely successful without quite finding answers for the following questions:
a) When exactly would we want to listen to Youth Lagoon?
b) Does it even matter that we don’t know?
In order to enter the sprawling, benevolent acid circus of Wondrous Bughouse, you must first pass through the two and a half minutes of dark squiggly wilderness that for some reason constitutes opening track “Through Mind and Back”. Once you are safely the other side, you will be privy to all the creaky organ, swirling sound effects and keening melodicism you can handle, starting with the Ariel-Pink-meets-mid-’90s-Flaming-Lips-iness of “Mute”.
After another couple of fevered daydreams, the album solidifies and builds up a real head of steam with the string-swept Bowie-ness of “Pelican Man”, the alluring twinkle-stomp of “Dropla” and SMiLE-ish twangs of “Sleep Paralysis”. Animal Collective are evoked by the ‘half flowers half machine’ clatter of “Third Dystopia”, while “Daisyphobia” signs a predominantly good-natured LP off with a compellingly nightmarish lulla-waltz.
Too mind-blown for journeying to, too frequently jarring to zone out to, too intricate for mere background music: exactly when would you listen to Wondrous Bughouse by Youth Lagoon? If you happen to be a fan of any of the other artists mentioned in this review, then Rocksucker would encourage you to make the time.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Wondrous Bughouse will be released on 18th March through Fat Possum Records. For more information, please visit www.fatpossum.com/artists/youth-lagoon