Local Wire

Modey Lemon

A grotesque vegetable, psychedelic rock is rarely served on its own. But just a smidgen lends weight to pop, color to blues, brains to country, and space to dance music. Modey Lemon is that unusual band that takes it straight. On The Curious City, the Pittsburgh trio's second album, fun-house mayhem rules. Overtones of progenitors like Alice Cooper and Jefferson Airplane are updated with punkier guitars and the odd dancey touch. Tempos snap from thundering groove to hypnotic march under rapt accounts of time travel, suspicious family men, weird berries, and a female lumberjack who "takes a sleepy axe to my skull." For the unaccustomed palate, singer Phil Boyd is a relief, narrating with little enough vocal affectation to keep things from veering around the bend from coherence. Nevertheless, Modey Lemon makes perhaps the most concentrated psych since Primus.
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Andrew Marcus