Rancho Relaxo
(Happy Friday Experiment)
2011
Crank this to 8.7 of 11
Genre:
Shoegaze, Psychedelic rock
Sounds Like:
Spacemen 3, Sunsplit, The Black Angels
Distant vocals compliment the hazy amorphous trip inducing sound that is Rancho Relaxo. The band formed back in 2003 in Norway, a country that has been a prolific leader to the imaginative psychedelic heavier space rock world. Rancho Relaxo developed their sound since their origin moving away from the organ laden energy to a more harmonic and acoustic sitar laid back neo-psychedelic approach.

The album is rich and quite involved, blending heartwarming acoustics with a euphoric meander that will facilitate imaginative landscapes giving you much freedom to daydream. We found the album peaceful and calming to the nerves, but quite deep in its melodies and elaborate arrangements. Happy Friday Experiment is refreshingly good contrasting the ho hum everyday, heard it before psychedelic European sound to an inventive well thought out body of work. This is the type of album that will grow very slowly on you, like a thick weed that may look like a plant and you are not sure if you should pull it. When you do attempt the pull the stem it is too thick and well routed to grasp, so you leave it an let live through the end of season.

Track Listing:
I. Want You - 3:20
2. Make You Mine - 3:56
3. Cry Over You - 4:15
4. Take a Walk with Me - 3:22
5. Intermission (Green) - 2:32
6. Dead and Gone - 2:30
7. Diamond Black - 3:22
8. See What I Have Seen - 3:47
9. My Heart My Mind - 3:52
10. Intermission (Blue) - 1:54
11. Gandhi Is My Gun - 5:10
12. Into the Night - 7:32

The experiment takes off with a heartwarming and expansive track in "Want You." The acoustic setting is comforting and morphs into a very vibrant Verve-like appeal. "Make You Mine" centers around a very anthemic organ melody that works and has a very grinding laborious feel that becomes infectious after several listens. The very melancholy "Cry Over You" may not be for everyone as it is quite simple and ominous. Nonetheless a pretty dark trip where they take things down an octave. Still a solid track. "Take a Walk With Me" delivers a very jovial message and the upbeat contrast between the previous track is inviting. Lyrically one of the better tracks off the album. "Dead and Gone" features some very warm acoustic rhythm guitar that reminds us of the great band Swell (we recommend you peruse our review of Well?). This is a great little diddy of a track that does not try for too much.

Track seven, "Diamond Black" is a terrific more uptempo psychedelic trip where the triangle and percussion really take hold. Great crescendos in this one. "See What I Have Seen" is about as spacial as you can get. A very expansive and consuming track. The last two tracks off Happy Friday Experiment really cap things off for us. "Ghandi Is My Gun" is perhaps our favorite track on the album. The sitar and driving acoustics really set the stage for this one. Hear the electric guitar creep in very effectively and really put a stamp on this one. The echo effect seems even more apparent on this track and works very well. The closing track "Into the Night" is the longest and most experimental of the twelve tracks. Introducing some spoken word and a four minute subtle jam session that evaporates into the night.

We continue to be amazed at how much psychedelic talent is out there. Rancho Relaxo sparked our interest for the many layers and thick sound the album delivers. The textured arrangements really caught our ear after the first listen and our appreciation for the album only grows after each listen.  Put this one in heavy rotation and it is certain to be a refreshing new find for you psychedelic collection. - 7/13/2015

Standout Tracks: Take a Walk with Me, Diamond Black, Gandhi Is My Gun
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