UK based The Chemistry Set were active in the 1980s, having released cassette albums on the Acid Tapes label and receiving airplay from the late great John Peel. Then in 1991 the band went on what would become a 17 year hiatus until reforming in 2008. I’ve yet to hear any of their music from the 80s, but I have heard their 2010 Fruits de Mer single, which featured an excellent tripped out psych song and a cool cover of the Stones’ We Luv You.
And now Fruits de Mer (on their Regal Crabomophone sub-label) have a new 3-song single by The Chemistry Set, consisting of two originals and a cover of Hallucinations, originally recorded by Tomorrow. Ya gotta love the title of the opening song, Come Kiss Me Vibrate And Smile. It’s a fast-paced and catchy psych rocker with old time 60s organ, fuzz guitar, and cool effects. But the Chems really go into space on Time To Breathe. It starts off sounding like Porpupine Tree circa The Sky Moves Sideways, though this 6 minute song gradually morphs into a slightly different direction. The vocals are beautiful and the guitar licks – the star of the show for me – are seductively spaced out. This is an accessible pop song that takes the time to develop and explore. Rounding out the set is a cover of the 1968 song Hallucinations by Tomorrow, who for those of you not in the know included Twink and Prog guitar god Steve Howe in their ranks. The Chemistry Set are pretty much faithful to the original but have a much fuller sound, probably due to modern production capabilities, and we get a brief ripping guitar solo that Howe apparently didn’t feel inspired to crank out on the original.
The single will be available mid-October and is limited to 800 copies, and as usual this is vinyl ONLY, no CDs or downloads. If interested you better hurry because Fruits de Mer releases sell out QUICK!
For more information visit the Fruits de Mer Records web site at: http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz