Shimmer Kids Underpop Association The Natural Riot

The whole prospect of a band that seems to hold Brian Wilson and Philip K. Dick in equal regard is a scary one, mainly because they are not necessarily names that anyone would associate with each other. Yet the Shimmer Kids Underpop Association somehow manages to cock their heads at convention and throw a frightening number of influences into their musical melting pot. They combine the experimental weirdness of Olivia Tremor Control with the pop sensibilities of Zumpano, add some Spiritualized-esque drones and Beach Boys-inspired harmonies and still the resultant mixture hits the mark more often than not. However, the San Francisco band's second album proper doesn't come as a real revelation to anyone that might have crossed paths with them before, as they have been doing this kind of thing for quite some time. What The Natural Riot does find them doing slightly differently than before is managing to sustain their momentum over 15 songs - there might be moments when the lyrics are just too precious for their own good, but the pace of the album means that your attention soon moves onto new pastures. Ignore the far too obvious Elephant 6 comparisons that don't do the band justice and appreciate The Natural Riot for what it is: a very enjoyable album that will keep fans of all things psychedelic happy. (Hidden Agenda)