Hidden Masters

Of This and Other Worlds

Written by: BV on 06/10/2013 19:13:16

Hidden Masters is a trio from Scotland that seems to sport a love for quirky 60’s beats, psychedelic imagery and harmonized vocals – coupled with that good ol’ crunchy rock guitar. In other words, Hidden Masters are riding on the recent retro-wave which seems to be ever-expanding with seemingly no limit to how many bands can actually be worthwhile to listen to.

“She Broke The Clock Of The Long Now” opens the album with the aforementioned harmonized vocals and a somewhat noodling, yet highly melodic guitar sound. The track comes off as somewhat dazzling and highly impressive at the first couple of listens – which bodes increasingly well for what is to come. As the song progresses, the similarities with acts such as The Beatles and The Byrds become quite apparent and it’s really not a big task to figure out who their main inspirations are.

This dreamy, slightly eclectic take on psychedelia seems to come off as rather inspired by the greats of the past, but in an odd way Hidden Masters don’t strike me as annoyingly dated. On tracks like “Into the Night Sky” and “Perfume”, the essence of the sixties seems to become overwhelming but Hidden Masters are playing around with it, rather than succumbing to the romanticized memories of it. “Perfume” in particular, sounds like it could easily have come off the “Nuggets” compilations – but in a rather updated soundscape, which speaks for the not entirely derivative authenticity of it all.

With “Nobody Knows That We’re Here”, the band continues in the general direction of quirky, upbeat and strangely fast-paced psychedelia that is tinged with a somewhat occult edge to it. During the middle section of the track, it becomes quite evident that, not only are Hidden Masters quite prolific songwriters, they are also musicians that seem to have no issues with showing off their prowess within the confines of good taste – that is to say, it does not possess the same kind of ‘wanking’ quality that many other psych bands occasionally dabble in, as every little instrumental excursion here is done with a rather tasteful, controlled soundscape in mind.

As I near the end of this review, I remember that I recently saw a reader-vote at some other magazine, stating that Hidden Masters was one of the 10 best new bands out there at the moment. While I’m not prone to agreeing entirely, I must say that their quirky take on psychedelic rock is quite welcome in this recent surge of retro-related music. So whilst we’re not getting ahead of ourselves, I can honestly proclaim this to be a most fascinating debut album by a band I will probably be on the lookout for in the future.

7

Download: She Broke Clock of the Long Now, Nobody Knows That We’re Here
For The Fans Of: The Wands, Jacco Gardner, The Beatles, The Byrds
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 27.05.2013
Rise Above Records


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