Psychedelic music is difficult to get right – the danger is to push it a little too far and disappear up your own arse. In the sixties this was fine because those who listened to it were usually too high to know what was going on, but today psychedelia needs to be measured with a little more restraint, and Inca Gold is one band that’s able to get this balance just right.
To describe this London four-piece solely in terms of psychedelic rock would be grossly unjust, however. There is undoubtedly an air of heady experimentation synonymous with the genre, but there are no sitars or drug referencing lyrics here (or at least none I picked up on). In fact, Inca Gold shares more kinship with the shoegaze bands of the late eighties/ early nineties than Jefferson Airplane or The Grateful Dead. A good contemporary reference point would be the expansive sounds of Deerhunter.
The opening track on their EP Inca Gold III (released in the early part on 2012 and available to download from their Bandcamp), “Atom”, is a sumptuous example of what these guys are about. It opens with an intro that immediately sounds familiar just because it’s so effortlessly brilliant you’ll think it’s surely been done before. The lyrics are delivered with a wonderfully laid back nonchalance, whilst the guitars swirl and echo in the background. Second track “Ghostbride” shares that sense of nostalgia and boasts a wonderfully dream-like chorus that stays in your head for hours.
The other tracks on the EP, “Split Waves” and the epic “Emergency Talks”, see the band stretching their experimental side a little more, with more emphasis on creating wide screen soundscapes. However, throughout this debut release they always temper their experimental leanings with great melodies to produce songs that stay in your head but have the depth and layers to keep you coming back for repeat listens.
There is that dream-like, star gazing feel to Inca Gold’s music that creates a truly intoxicating atmosphere, and it’s perhaps this mind expanding property that lends that psychedelic feel to their music. The band are currently locked away in the studio recording and mixing an as of yet untitled debut album, pencilled in for release by the end of Spring. It is an exciting prospect to see where they take their spacious sound on a full length record, and an exciting 2013 surely awaits this young band.