jump to navigation

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Polyphemus, Scrapbook of Madness April 7, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Here’s an outfit from the early to mid 1990s who I always found quietly entertaining. Listening to them again recently I found myself drawn to make the connection with the likes of Tame Impala and Pond. It’s not that there’s necessarily a direct connection, but psych-rock is psych rock.

Brian Leary and Elvira Corral (great name that) were Polyphemus, with Leary doing the bulk of instrumentation and vocals while Corral providing backing vocals and percussion.

I think it was something about the mixture of sweet sour vocals and melodies, intertwined with psychedelic guitar and bursts of sharp post punk. I’m trying to think of similar outfits, and I suppose Guided By Voices is one reference. Or more distantly something of 1980s proto-twee outfit Fantastic Something about them, to my ears, which may be the best argument that my ears ain’t what they used to be.

Allmusic has noted that the album is trebly, which it is, but I’m not entirely sure that that is a glitch so much as a feature. This is the sound of the bedsit writ large. It’s there in the mannered but unselfconscious enthusiasm with which each song is tackled.

And there are some lovely pieces on here, the title song, the riffy The Sea Map, the skewed pop of Your Kind Turn Me All Around and Satellite Sun with a simple guitar line that sits perfectly under a descending vocal. And if one can get past the lyrics The Old Man Said has a fine lilt to it – and given that I’ve managed to work my way through almost the entirety of one Marty Willson-Pipers’ output I’m fairly immune to – shall we say – the twee. Fairly immune. Not absolutely (Alexander’s Words steps a little too close to the edge for my liking).

I’d forgotten that they appeared on 4AD for this album and yet that makes a sort of sense for every once in a while 4AD would introduce a somewhat less ethereal element to their roster, for more of same consider the last Ultra Vivid Scene album. Whatever, it is just one of those albums which work perfectly on its own terms and within its own vision.

The Sea Map

Your Kind Turn Me Around

What the Old Man Said

Satellite Sun


1. Elvira Corral - February 18, 2019

Oodles of thanks. Wow… definitely good stuff….Elvira Corral, yeah from Polyphemus.🎼🎤📡🇺🇸currently in storming Los Angeles, CA

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2019

Hope you’re still making music!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: