Ten years ago, when Kula Shaker released their first album, they wanted to party like it was 1967, fusing the trippy sound of London from the psychedelic heyday with an amplified aggression and spiritual warmth. A decade later on its third album, not much has changed and Kula Shaker still wants to party like it is 1967. Strangefolk does not stray to far from the blueprint lain down on Kula Shaker’s previous two albums (the classic K from 1996 and Peasants, Pigs, & Astronauts, released in 1999), with the band strutting back into our musical conscience with the same trippy, jangly, muscular guitar riffs as before (think The Byrds pumped up on steroids), the swagger of the mid 1990s Britpop scene, and holding a pint of lager in one hand and a dash of Indian mysticism in the other.
Despite having such a musically limiting sound (really, what hasn’t been done already with that classic ‘60s psychedelic sound?), Kula Shaker still seems relevant; they have never overstayed their welcome, releasing two albums in the 1990s and then completely disappearing. With the release of Strangefolk, Kula Shaker has blown a fresh psychedelic air through the new millennium. So put on your rose-colored granny glasses, watch the cool paisley sound and think about the Summer of Love. Do this as the band sings abouton “Second Sight” and head back through the looking glass…Far out.
Strangefolk is out now on Cooking Vinyl.