What happens when Tim DeLaughter brings together members of two of his old bands (The Polyphonic Spree and Tripping Daisy) to create a bold, new project? The answer is Preteen Zenith, based out of Dallas and spearheaded by front-man and his ex-Tripping Daisy bandmate Philip E. Karnats.
Back in February of 2009 DeLaughter began writing and demoing songs in Dallas. Karnats invited him out to Chicago in the hopes of improvising some new material together. Unbeknownst to DeLaughter though, his wife forwarded the demos to Karnats, who fell in love with what he heard. Upon arriving in Chicago, the two hammered out the details and the rest, as they say, is history. Their work yielded Preteen Zenith’s first album, Rubble Guts and BB Eye, due out May 29th on Good Records Recordings.
The album is rife with psychedelic guitar licks and vocals – in fact, many of the vocals are dual-harmonized in an MGMT circa Oracular Spectacular fashion. Seemingly random sounds play a large role throughout the album – tribal drum beats blend seamlessly with crescendoing feedback and dive-bombing guitars. This cacophonous blend of traditional and nontraditional, random and expected, gives the listener a truly psychedelic listening experience. Preteen Zenith embraces the notion of psychedelia as a concept, not just a guitar running through a fuzz-inducing effects pedal.
The records owns a flow about it, as though it were one long musical movement. It gives the album a sense of depth and adventure. It beckons the listener to not pick tracks out at random, but rather to experience this artistic imitative as a whole.
MUST HEAR TRACK: “Damage Control” feat. Erykah Badu is a spacey, chilled-out jam with haunting melodies. One complaint – I wish Badu’s cameo was more easily discernible. It sounds as though she’s been buried in the background of this one.