The Holydrug Couple ‎– Hyper Super Mega

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Album number four from Chilean psych-pop act the Holydrug Couple sees the duo moving into more melodic, though still defiantly cerebral, territory. The project of multi-instrumentalist and mastermind Ives Sepúlveda and drummer Manuel Parra, the Holydrug Couple has been a mainstay of the Sacred Bones label since 2011, veering in style from the swirling lo-fi psych of 2013's Noctuary to the sleek, synth-led tones of 2015's Europop-inspired Moonlust. Moving away from some of the more ambient aspects of 2017's dreamy Soundtrack for Pantanal, Hyper Super Mega is, according to the band, modeled more on the classic pop constructions of masters like the Beatles and Beach Boys, albeit fed through the wonky Holydrug filter. A thick, blown-out feeling pervades most of the record, which mixes an exceedingly harsh D.I.Y. patina with tuneful arrangements that might come across as breezy in a less affected guise. With its pervasive synth-bass and syrupy falsetto, "Waterfalls" pours down in a smoky haze while closer "Mercury Lake" loops on and on in a technicolor fug befure surging to its conclusion in a barrage of tidal overdrive. There are big chunks of Hyper Super Mega that feel like bedroom E.L.O. experiments roasting over a weak fire. The songs themselves are pleasant enough, but four albums into their career, the Holydrug Couple still seem far more excited about chasing sounds than crafting memorable tunes.

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