the-proper-ornaments

Attributing their formation to a mutual appreciation of The Velvet Underground, it would be easy to denounce The Proper Ornaments for being yet another regressive indie band with too much reverence for the past. Here, it’s not wholly untrue, and as a band whose overall style is defined by the often incongruous ‘neo-psychedelic’ tag, there are obvious indications of a derived aesthetic. But of course there’s nothing wrong with looking to the past for inspiration for your own development, and The Proper Ornaments meld the right amounts of their primary ’60s influences with their own pop sensibility and somnolent interpretation of psychedelia, wherein the melodic warmth of The Beach Boys meets a deeper and darker undercurrent of the aforementioned Velvet Underground.

Recorded on a broken 8-track reel-to-reel, ‘Wooden Head’’s languid pace runs the risk of becoming tedious mid-listen, yet there’s the sporadic upbeat moments like the comparatively sprightly ‘Magazine’ to counteract any drop in momentum. ‘Summer’s Gone’ s lyrical content focuses beautifully and deftly on mental illness, and it’s this harmonised, Byrdsian introspection that prevails.

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