The Troggs of “Wild Thing” fame were supposedly named after a British fad that saw kids moving into Blighty’s famous caves to live like “troglodytes,” so it makes perfect sense that local psych-pop quartet Bipolaroid leads off their latest with “In My Cave.” Take that, Brian Wilson!
Bipolaroid perfectly describe an arc that begins roughly in Wilson’s late-period sandbox and lands in Roky Erickson’s madhouse: there’s even a song here called “Roky Mtn Hi.” But between those two demented geniuses you can also hear quite a bit of the Kinks’ Ray Davies in full-on snark, which makes lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ben Glover sound less like a burnout than a loving curator of psychedelia’s full flowering. All those bad acid vibes are here—the Davie Allen biker-surf riffs, the feedback hangovers, the dinky organ noodlings, and the weird canned strings of what could only be a real honest-to-Buddha mellotron. There’s also a strong Syd Barrett influence in the twisted, childlike “Sacred Geometry” and “5D Printing.”
You don’t have to be an acid casualty to enjoy this frozen moment in pop history, either: anyone can go-go to “Back to the Old Black” or enjoy the band backing up into near-Monkees pop on “(I’m Not) Your Puppet” and “Fake Pretend” or bliss out to the jangleless but still somehow Byrds-like majesty of “Hummingbird.” But advanced heads can take flight with the epic “Triple Rainbow,” eight solid minutes of Amboy Dukes/Iron Butterfly sprawl. (‘shrooms not included.)