Published Feb 22, 2017Trying to talk about Baked in terms of their influences or intentions can be self-defeating; their debut LP, Debt, felt detached, lost in an internal world where notions of influence and intention lose definition in the haze of an intuitive musical chemistry.
In comparison, Farnham is a more grounded, almost social affair. Their world becomes increasingly accessible through a more opaque mix of instrumentation and drier vocals that stand a little closer to the front, even when the band threatens to drown in a sea of Big Muff overdrive. It feels like we're welcomed into their reverie and even asked to "stay" on the beautiful, eponymous psych ballad.
Though its collection of tracks features a greater diversity of sounds, Farnham is noisier and grungier overall than its predecessor: guitars roar as they fall into their familiar mid-tempo swoon near the end of "Danelectroladyland," and the rhythm section rumbles along through "A.A." with redoubled force. On "Stuck at Iron Mountain," gloomy chords give way to a wistful refrain as a reluctant protagonist accepts his lot and reminds us that he'll "still be here," for better or worse.
All the stylistic touches that made Baked so compelling are present on Farnham; they still break into that effortless country swing with little notice, still lean on the tremolo bar at all the right moments to coax out the little dips and bobs that contour their songwriting. If you are at all enticed by musical wanderlust, Farnham is essential listening. (Exploding in Sound)