The Hill is abuzz with an indescribable energy as more and more bodies, from all creeds of life, flock to the Fox, under the marquis that reads - “PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS” and directly under - “MEAT BODIES”. A strange conglomeration of words luring in a stranger conglomeration of fans.
Frats, Hair-heads, Psychonauts, Hipsters, Beats, all pile in off the streets, ordering first rounds and mingling under transient lights and the sounds of psychedelia. The whole room hums with expectancy. Energy and smoke flirt around in blue stage light.
Three bodies shuffle on amongst the blue; three Meat Bodies, that is- this evenings opening act. Meat Bodies are a 3-piece, LA-based band with boots firmly planted into the world of garage/psychedelic rock. They come on unannounced. Ninjas, brandishing weapons. The ominous droning guitar echoes quite literally out of the blue. Then, in an all-inclusive eruption, the band springs to life as the lights shift to a visceral, bloody red. Immediately headbanging ensues. The frat boys to my right spawn an Impromptu Mosh. A sea of red blood cells jumping and lurching.
Leading the circus, singer/guitarist Chad Ubovich tears into it, clad in blacks and reds, with Harlequin themed war-paint. The clown prince of mischief we didn't know we needed.
His playing is crisp, articulated, and intense. The drum work to match is punctual, sharply penetrating the sternum with every passing thud, and pairing beautifully with Kevin Boog’s deft finger work, delivering loaded bass lines from hell…...
And through it all, Ubovich’s scathed but melodious vocals ride above, on a wave of mutilation.
This is bare-bones stuff. Straight from the garage; Guitar, drum, bass. This is teeth-gnashing, head-bashing, high octane, death punch after death punch stuff, but still effortlessly cool. This is Sex Pistols meets Soundgarden, with the right amount of surf. No chit-chat. Just effortlessly kicking ass. After a tight, punchy set, it is safe to say the crowd is right where the group wants them- a dripping, meaty body firmly in the clasp of their bloody jowls...
At intermission, to the backdrop of smooth jazz, bodies reverberate with the leftover tremors of what just transpired. Mingling, trying to make sense of what they'd witnessed, but all with unanimous praise.
Meanwhile, roadies joined with the infamous Porn Crumpets themselves, unfurl the more elaborate equipment necessary for melting minds.
The Porn Crumpets hail from the red, rustic plains of Western Australia, notorious for their unique brand of neo-psychedelic rock, infusing riff-heavy ragas into intricate, multi-tiered jams. They're currently in the midst of an extensive, worldwide tour, promoting their 3rd LP- ‘And Now For The Watchamacallit’, a refreshing and innovative departure from its rowdy and bold predecessors -’High Visceral, pts 1 and 2’.
Abruptly, purple lights fall upon five long-locked Warlocks. Intergalactic emissaries of peace and rock n roll, headed by charming frontman- Jack McEwan, who I'm convinced is a half wizard-half pirate and all genius. He gives a cheeky grin before launching the Crumpets immediately into extraterrestrial territory.
The band blasts off into a cacophony of noise, setting the stage for the ensuing hour. A full-dive descent into the kaleidoscopic mayhem that is Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.
Like a phoenix, the Mosh pit is revived under the Crumpets’ incantation. Bodies dancing, flailing, in a nebula of purple and pink lights.
Between songs, the charismatic McEwan quips and flirts with his dense Aussie accent, expressing genuine gratitude to be here in the city of Boulder. A couple songs in, it's quite easy to tell that these lads are exhilarated to be here, hailing all the way from the red plains of Western Australia. Despite the compounding, now international stardom, the band has remained humble, and radiates a fun, jocose rapport with the crowd in between songs. Their excitement fuels the crowd's, and vice versa, compounding into some very impressive displays of showmanship. Natural born rockers. They effortlessly orchestrate the throbbing of the Mosh pit with animated movement, and some elaborate and exciting interludes.
A few songs in, McEwan declares a transition into some older tracks, firstly ‘Buzz’ off their sophomore album- High Visceral pt 2, and boy was it visceral. This is a face first dive into viscous, oozing, psychedelic rock. Downright carnal and pornographic. With ‘Buzz’, in my opinion, containing one of the most overlooked guitar riffs in modern rock, McEwan immediately starts melting faces. A frat boy to my right drops to the floor.
Each of the Porn Crumpets is a shaman with their respective instrument. Danny Caddy thrashes away on the drums, like crackling thunder from the volatile Outback. Luke Reynolds works the fretboard like butter, while Luke Parish masterfully abuses the guitar effects pedal in a torrent of glitching, whirring, and trippy, transient delays. All to the effect of conjuring up something. The immensity of sound takes the form of a dragon, held back by the bands reigns, but only barely…
Next the band slides into the fun and inherently catchy ‘Marmalade March’. Another classic, this time from High Visceral pt 1. Wild locks fly carefree and cling to sweating foreheads as they really have fun with this one.
Marveling at the liberties of Colorado, Jack dedicates the upbeat, psychoactive ‘Cubensis Lenses’ to the decriminalization of magic mushrooms, but not before professing his love for the state and its citizens, and flirtatiously announcing plans to move asap.
Next, the Porn Crumpets give us an intimate taste of their new material, from third studio album ‘And Now For The Watchamacallit’. Tracks such as ‘Hymn For a Droid’ and ‘Bill’s Mandolin’ display their playful take on song structure. Every piece tells a tale. Rising, falling, decaying, rebuilding, then rising higher than ever before. The music traverses both murky depths and lofty heights, with moments of sonorous swoons, and then utterly ballistic chaos. Very dynamic and enchanting to say the least. I get a sense that the Crumpets are really coming into their own on this record, taking new artistic leaps but not straying too far from their rustic roots, their initial sound having been conceived in a dilapidated tin horse shed in the rural outback. ‘Watchamacallit’ is grounded in that same red hearth, but isn't afraid to dabble in a new and enterprising direction of the cosmos. It's evident by the elation of the crowd that people from obscure corners of the globe are also catching on to the Crumpets’ sorcery...
The Mosh pit grows hungry, absorbing more flesh. One giant amoeba. All cells rocking in unison. When the set is over, the crowd demands more. To the uproar of many, the Porn Crumpets return triumphantly to play not one encore, but several! Returning to the fray, under a rainbow of lights, our lads certainly saved the best for last, going supernova in an orgasmic finale of badassery…
After a fond, parting farewell, the crowd is left vibrating, radiating heat. Bewildered and sufficiently melted.
The Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have parked themselves on the obscure corner between rugged, violent, Australian outback, and glittering Sci-fi phantasmagoria. More importantly, however, they've created something fun, and vastly impressive!
Aimlessly, people trickle out from the Fox Theatre, dressed in band merch, sweat, and smiles. Heat and energy roll out in torrents and up into the starry Boulder night. Looking up to the dark recesses of space, everyone departs, left with the faint impression that maybe now they realize what a “porn crumpet” really is...