Xtreme Now, the new album from Brooklyn two-piece Prince Rama, is an early contender for the wildest album of 2016.
The record is the sound of two best mates necking a load of blue smarties, running wild through a psych-pop sweet shop and throwing glitter everywhere. A pick ‘n’ mix attitude to instrumentation means everything goes in the pot; Fuzzy guitars and fizzing synths tumble alongside church bells and alarm clocks, sometimes even on the same track. The result is a grinning, wide eyed and kaleidoscopic sound that places Prince Rama in the same mad scientist, anything goes, freak pop bracket that defines early Beck, Pond and MGMT.
While on paper all this sounds like a right mess, Prince Rama have the pop nous to mostly keep it all together. ‘Now Is The Time Of Emotion’ has a classic girl-group chorus and melody, while the discoball vibe of ‘Believe In Something Fun’ channels the same unashamedly poppy secret ingredient last seen on Tame Impala’s ‘Currents’. This skill means that tracks like these can sit comfortably alongside ones such as ‘Slip Into Nevermore’, which sounds like a band of woodland faeries covering The Brian Jonestown Massacre, or ‘Sochi’, which delivers an impressive, ethereal Kate Bush vocal.
The lunatic, genre-bending grooves of Xtreme Now may not be for everyone, but for anyone complaining about pop music in 2016 being bland and tasteless, Prince Rama has enough party poppers and sherbet coated raved-up bangers to go around.
Xtreme Now is out now via Carpark.