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Anton Barbeau: Heaven Is in Your Mind (2017)

US born and Europe based artist Anton BARBEAU have a career that stretch back to the early 1990’s, with a string of solo albums and quite a few band releases on his CV so far. One of his most recent productions is the EP “Heaven Is in Your Mind”, which was released through UK label Fruits de Mer Records imprint Regal Crabomophone in the summer of 2017.

As is most often the case with vinyl specialist label Fruits de Mer, cover material is a part of this package. In this case there are three cover tunes and one original. The opening and title track is a cover of a song by Traffic, and along with the third track September Gurls (Big Star) these tracks are of the gangly, lo-fi psychedelic kind, time typical examples of psychedelic rock that in these versions might as well have been recorded in the 1960’s. What they may lack in high fidelity they take back by charm by the truckload, in a kind of Volkswagen Beetle kind of way.

The second cut Secretion of the Wafer is a more keyboards driven affair, arguably a tad more cosmic in character, with an ongoing piano motif that rise to the surface in recurring sparse, barren interludes. While more modern in scope and character, the mood and atmosphere of this creation gives me associations to 50’s science fiction movies, and combined with the vocals, Barbeau sounds uncannily similar to a young David Bowie here, the combined effect is one I can only describe as utterly charming.

This EP ends on a high note with the darker, almost industrial sounding Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). On this Bowie cover the vocals aren’t actually as uncannily resembling the original, with a harder, rougher edge to the delivery than I can ever remember Mr. Jones doing himself. but with similarities indeed and a vocal style that fits the darker landscapes explored here perfectly. To my mind a much more modern sounding affair too, where the psychedelic features aren’t by far as prominent as on the other songs, but rather present as a subtle, distanced backbone.

While this is an EP fairly broad in scope and character, the cover of a Bowie song and the original where Barbeau sounds more like Bowie than he did himself in later years makes this EP one I suspect should interest quite a few fans of the late great creator of art rock and art pop. Fans of vintage era psychedelic rock should also find this EP to be a rewarding experience I suspect, especially due to those songs present that has that time typical, 60’s era lo-fi, gangly and honest mood and atmosphere to them.

 

My rating: 8/10

Track list:
Heaven Is in Your Mind / Secretion of the Wafer / September Gurls / Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

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