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Need a happy booster? Take off with Parking Lot Experiments on Beginners

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Ugh. Melbourne has come up with something brilliant again. After casting aside the particular frustration at the Southerners wielding yet another jewel of the arts, the immersion into Parking Lots Experiments’ new album Beginners may gloriously begin to claim you.

parking lot experiments

More unpredictable than a reverse parallel attempt, Parking Lot Experiments school us in music that doesn’t stick between lines on Beginners.

An immersion it most cataclysmically is. We advise saving this album for a day with 60% cloud cover, sporadic gusts of wind and a light but persistent sprinkling of rain. These ingredients will optimise the trip that this album gleefully leads onwards. Hey, the guide may not know, at times, where they are, the topography may undulate unexpectedly, to the point of gravity questioned, colours may startle and quiver. And, by gum, Toto? I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore. But, joyously, philanthropically, this album provides an affordable and accessible travel plan.

It’s as easy as one, two, click play, begin. We are propelled straight into a world of rapid drum beats, syncopated bursting lyrics and obscure instruments. One in particular, it might be one of those mysteries that pervade and give us foundation, like what’s really in maccas soft serve ice cream of why poor Murphy was so unlucky? But the instrument that lilts, meanders and gyrates throughout this album, giving it body and flair is probably in the kazoo family. Maybe. A really excellently, profoundly sophisticated, electronically inclined kazoo and it’s soon to revolutionise the music soundscape.

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The album is – with youthful havoc, mouth askew in joyful abandon – a candy shop that’s on a rainbow. So many colours, so many tastes, you’re cruising along the isles in blissful ecstasy, oh the gobstoppers hither, the sour snakes thither. You find yourself merrily squinting at nothing in particular. So many sounds. Swelling and surging, intermingling. Yelps. That kazoo again.

Suddenly a song comes on that doesn’t fit anything around it, you rack through your brain to settle it in a genre, a place of origin, give up, marvel and just darn well go on skipping on the side walk and hugging stray dogs, because all and sundry deserve smiles, charm and a hero’s welcome.

On Beginners, Parking Lot Experiments being the lil’ tricksters that they are, give forth their ode to irony by being bloody masters. The prolific host of singers in their last track Live Long causes what can only be described as gargantuan moment of supreme visceral awe. You are Frodo at Mount Doom. You are DeCaprio when everything starts crumbling. And of course Simba and Mufasa and the echoing sky. Yes, an album that drags you into the ether with the greats of the past deserves to be in your ear drums and accounts payable.

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These guys craft songs that are, in one open-mouthed grin, fiendishly catchy, upbeat and multifaceted, while never straying to farce shallow ground or tried formulas. This music will make you so completely, utterly, smitten-ly, abandon-ly happy. Yet while the album is assuredly positive, it’s not at the expense of avoiding the awkward and micro messes that we all step in from time to time. This album seems to be an exercise in perceiving, owning and then dealing with, in cheerful confidence “oh crap there is crap on my shoe and life, might as well mosey on”. These guys speak honestly, with eccentricity and quirk coming out in every bizarre time signature and polyphonic melody. Music, messages and mayhem roll into one hazy, charming and larrikin- esque ball of an album.

Quirky, vulnerable and solidly unaffected, this band writes music that speaks into the human condition without sounding dreary and self-aggrandising.  As doers of good, we feel the need to announce that these darkly comedic lines and their compatriots will be problematic for listeners in public areas/ libraries. Your guffaws will peel forth in the frigid silence. But hey, Gandalf was a disturber of the peace, we all must have our life goals.

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March 23, 2016