Like Elephants 2 - The Movements (Crusher Records)
Barely six months have elapsed and that’s time enough for The Movements to release the second part of their “Like Elephants” psychedelic opus. It’s arguably more, um, psychedelified, than “Like Elephants 1” and thus demanding closer attention, but it’s no less less engaging.
If “Like Elephants 2” is less commercial than its predecessor it’s only by a matter of degrees. The sorts of tunes The Movements play don’t make it to the mainstream airwaves anyway. They’re swelling songs with layered guitars interspersed by keys and David Henriksson’s penetrating vocal. Their music is important without ever sounding self important. It sprawls (in parts) without getting lazy with the songs clocking in, on average, at less than four minutes. No notes are wasted.
“Like Elephants 2” is a 10-song collection (there’s a brief soundscape called “Pans” that we won’t count) that occupies 38 minutes. The mood is dark, not black, with flashes of light. You’d do well to play both LPs back-to-back. It will make sense but they’re not concept albums - as far as I can tell. They are fairly timeless.
Want a taste? “Ice” is a sparse song built on a stabbing piano figure. “Give It To Me” is an overtly airplay-friendly tune, comprising a chunky backbeat and keyboard wash that scales a climbing melody before yielding to an odd Eastern motif played on God knows what. It’s overshadowed by “Yesterday, Now & Forever”, an outright rocker propelled by slide guitar and Thomas Wildhom’s irresistible feel. The title track is sedately surreal by comparison.
The Movements have this psych rock thing stitched up. Their influences are as numerous as the names you can put forward so throwing a few more pointedly to the fore is an academic exercise. Their music creeps up on you and wraps you up - not in an aural wallpaper sort of way. It’s quite addictive.
This review isn’t meant to be a sell job. You’ll make up your own mind by jumping in with both feet (and ears.) Psychedelic music is a meaningless tag because it transcends genres. That The Movements span rock, folk, pop and ‘most everything else should tell you enough.