The riches of Chicago's psych/garage scene are seemingly endless. I'll say that no other North American city tops it, certainly in terms of quantity, but probably also in quality. Energy Gown are no exception. For me, they have now wormed their way into my Top 5 Chicago bands. It's quite a feat considering the love I have for so much else of the city's output.
This straightforward psych record is so ridiculously on-point, it really sounds like it came from nowhere else but 1967. I think a theremin is used in the first track! Most of what's mixed loudest on Evening Molasses is guitar and organ. Drums are mostly toms and snare; hardly any hi-hat and rarely any cymbals (tambourine substituting). Bass action ranges from thumping to melodic, shouldering the groove well. There isn't one clean guitar tone to be heard here; all fuzzy and distorted. Vocals are marinated in reverb.
Evening Molasses impresses lyrically. A.A. Lam's ethereal poetry (no joke) is the highlight of this album. It's an interesting read, strongly suggesting such words were written in an altered state-of-mind. It rivals that of the great Syd Barrett. Track six is titled, 'Pitch Drops on the Atmos Clock'. That's pretty much as close to 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn' as a title can get.
Overall, Evening Molasses receives a standing ovation from me. In 2014, so far, there's no better record to play and be hooked by its shadowy lure.
The Verdict: 4 Bedpans