Acid Tongue sound like they spend every day of their lives sitting on the beach, getting stoned and bashing out rough chords on an acoustic guitar. It wouldn’t be a surprise if that’s how this EP came to be, actually – Beautiful Disaster is the sort of thing that would soundtrack a hazy midsummer afternoon where the heat’s a bit too sticky and the air’s hanging heavy.
Such a laidback presentation manages to mask a sound that’s far more complex than it seems, with a surprisingly wide breadth of collaged sounds. Beautiful Disaster is heavily rooted in the sounds of psychedelia coated in a thick indie fuzz, and made more ‘accessible’ thanks to its woozy, Kurt Vile-esque guitar lines. Note the inverted commas around ‘accessible’, as while Acid Tongue have bathed their sound in lurching hooks, there’s a very rickety nature to these four tracks that prevents the same sort of crossover appeal that the genre has flirted with before in the likes of Tame Impala.
Part of this is thanks to Guy Keltner’s vocals, with fall in the very slight middle of the Venn diagram of Mick Jagger and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. His versatility is a definite plus though, keeping the admittedly samey sound of these tracks interesting; the squalling vocals of Mac And Me have a very clear disparity to the Motown-flavoured follow-up Twisted, even though the musical canvas of both remains similar.
It’s an acquired taste for sure, but Acid Tongue undoubtedly know that. Beautiful Disaster is the kind of release that may only dip its toes in the waters outside its own genre boundary, but it embraces that with a more hook-driven take on psychedelia. And by doing that, it carves out its own little niche in today’s scene that looks to be well worth exploring. You’ve probably already decided if this is for you anyway.
For fans of: Lou Reed, Kurt Vile, Mac DeMarco
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Beautiful Disaster’ by Acid Tongue is released on 5th August on Failure By Design Records.