Drenched in kaleidoscopic pop and ’60s surf-rock
Though history may sadly end up forgetting Kiwi-via-Portland math-punks The Mint Chicks, their members’ subsequent projects have all been badass. As Unknown Mortal Orchestra, guitarist Ruban Nielson’s woozy bedroom psychedelia has impressed, and now his brother Kody lollops forth with Opossom, who are kind of New Zealand’s rebuttal to Aussie neighbours Tame Impala. Like his sibling, the 30-year-old has ditched the raucous clatter of his previous output, and ‘Electric Hawaii’ is instead drenched in kaleidoscopic pop and ’60s surf-rock. Occasionally, though, old habits emerge. ‘Cola Elixir’’s abrasive coda, for instance, sees Nielson battling the urge to revert to his former snarl. But that’s balanced out by ‘Blue Meanies’ and ‘Getaway Tonight’, where vocoder vocals infiltrate as though transmitted from the cosmos, and by the time ‘Inhaler Song’ saunters in like early Animal Collective, its creator clearly seems content in a state of hallucinogenic Zen.
Simon Jay Catling