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Babe Rainbow – The Organic Album Review

Not knowing what to expect from the soft touches and broad flourishes of Babe Rainbow is the best place to find yourself. The Organic Album, their latest piece of focused neo-psychedelic pop, gives a relaxed feel, a stress pulled away from muscles. But those relaxed tones and charming, slick guitar interjections are moments rather than motivations. Opening track Inner Space throws a lot at the wall to see what sticks. It is the perfect palette cleanser but also provides a good scope toward what and how Babe Rainbow have accomplished. Brief bits of brilliance provides the occasional rise on an ultimately solid album that tries not to take itself too seriously. 

Smash the Machine has some elevated intensity to it and knocks on nicely to the Acid Klaus-like underscore of All the Power which demonstrates a lovely use of percussion, and cowbell, blurring nicely with the guitar licks on show. Eventful ideas that can only speculate on what they focus on, Babe Rainbow at least keep themselves fresh and moving along nicely. Rainy day tracks are what The Organic Album offers. Moments, bits and pieces of neat psychedelic pop that engage better on some tracks than it does for others. Mediterranean has a breezy flow to it where the mix gives precedence to the riffs and floating charms, instead of the lyrics. Nothing too powerful, nothing all that beautiful, but pockets of nicer moments steady the tracklist here. 

Uplifting bits and pieces come together nicely, and The Organic Album knows not to outstay its psychedelic, reflective welcome. Consistent, Australian psychedelics are formed well on Wild About Harry, a track that does not get as wild as its track title would suggest but instead provides some delicate moments that disperse their surf pop imagery. Callbacks to the 1960s are all well and good when they are handled with care, as The Organic Album does time and time again. Wah guitar and inclusions of softer flourishes give that styling and effective pace of The Beach Boys some new and modern clarity, and the collective Babe Rainbow unit a nice nod to those glory days. Flashback feels a trifle empty and that shines a light on those spotty moments The Organic Album fails to improve on. Babe Rainbow has secured a feel for their work but must take that extra step to separate them from a genre that passed them by.  

Even then, every passive track has a complete burst of sensible advancements. Open up Your Heart is a defiant, instrumental-led piece for the latter stages of the album. It comes out of nowhere, develops its soothing, moving charms quietly and delicately, and moves on to Fantastic Landscape. Babe Rainbow are more than capable of developing their psychedelic surfer rock that one step further, and while The Organic Album is a step in the right direction, depth is their next requirement. Album closer Sunshine and Rainbow gives a great example of everything right and wrong with Babe Rainbow so far. Their instrumentals are sharp and flowing, but their lyrical presence is wavering and can be matched by the relative obsession they have with the lower novelties of psychedelic rock. Sharpening that tool will set them up for a well-worked record, no doubt about it.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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