Album: Tryptamines – ‘The Way Which Can Be Named Is Not The Nameless Way’

Hailing from Buckie on the Moray Firth coast of Scotland, classically trained Callum Peterkin’s expansive songwriting achieves the unexpected. He’s joined by Tom ‘the Noise’ Monger (vocals, samples, guitars) and Tiny Broken Keyboards (echoes, noises), and if there is such a thing as the New Psychedelia, perhaps Tryptamines is it (hence the name).

Kicking off with ‘More Unforgotten Friends’, you don’t so much as sink into its melancholia, but instead get shoved. It’s a reflective neo-classical sound; music that makes you think strangely of your own life, of its trials and errors, its frequent stumbles and sprints. With ‘A Landslide O Tiny Robots’ you’re served an industrial cacophony attenuated by a choral colouring. It’s where Fritz Lang crashes seamlessly into the avant garde of chamber of music, a motif repeated in ‘And So On And So On And So On’. The next piece – ‘Metropolis’ – is more a slice of classic home-made bluesy pop not a hundred miles away from Gary Numan, which is closely followed by ‘Euphoric Agitation’, a piece of mournful sketching that calls to mind a Shankar raga. It’s meditative and yet thoroughly disquieting.

And it’s at this point that you, the listener, grows unsettled. The mood is darkening, one’s thoughts drifting to winter and a sense of helplessness, of being trapped – the warm, embittered vocal of ‘This Is My Feelings’ compounding a curdled sense of general outrage. The sea-shanty apocalypse of ‘Why Are There People Like Frank…’ may as well be entitled Why Are There People Like Theresa. Or indeed Boris. Most definitely a record for the Summer of 2017, a season of general election, frozen erections and forked-tongue subterfuge – we’re all neck deep in it: things aren’t looking good for UK plc. This record merely sharpens a focus on British society. It doesn’t cajole, it jolts. And if ever we needed to be jolted from our complacency, it is now.

The Way Which Can Be Named Is Not The Nameless Way, the new album from Tryptamines, is out now via FitLike Records.

Jason Holmes