Medicine Men – Into The Light

medicine-men-into-the-light-album-coverGlasgow band Medicine Men have been around for a few years now, so whilst this debut may have been a long time coming, it’s most certainly worth the wait. Into The Light is a psychedelic groover of an album that is perfect for the summer months.

What the album does brilliantly is capture the goodtime vibe, and the fact I was listening whilst basking in glorious and short-lived early summer sunshine lifted this record to a new height.

Into The Light is bursting with sounds and techniques that evoke hazy memories of summertimes gone by. Whether that’s classic organ, reverb on the vocals, distorted bass lines or jangly guitar intros (the sumptuous ‘Eggshells’) or even some Frampton-esque talkbox on ‘Bruised Peach’. All the parts are there for what makes a greatly enjoyable record, one that will be listened to over and over again. These guys are clearly fans of the classic LP format, and as a 10-track album, coming in at 47 mins, this album ticks all those boxes.

The early single, ‘Show What You’re Made Of’ and aforementioned ‘Eggshells’ are examples of how Medicine Men can get you going. These are two fantastic songs that will have you looking out your dancing shoes. The former marries a Killers-style synth with great chorus, while ‘Eggshells’ is a glorious, dreamy sing-along.

Sandwiched between these two is ‘Golden Packets’, a song that might have been dismissed as just an album track, but for the fact it is every bit the stone groove of the others. This is a song that combines a bass-driven, soaring organ track with lyrics about the less salubrious side of Glasgow nightlife. That less than glamorous side of Saturday night is visited again on ‘Realise Forget’ which is almost a lament to violence once the clubs come out. However, this dark side of the weekend is purely an undercurrent in the flow of this inherently uplifting album.

If I were to look for some critical points, the album takes a slight dip as it approaches a close. ‘The Balcony’ could perhaps benefit from being shorter as it drags a little. Of course, critics could also point out that Into The Light is nothing new, as all of this has been done before. Medicine Men draw on influences of great bands from the 60’s to the 90’s but they do it well.

The closing track and lead single ‘Out Of The Light’ is as inspiring and energetic as they come, which is perhaps at odds with the Joy Division-style organ that drives the track. It sounds more pop than much of the psychedelic dance that threads the album together (although the driving bass is familiar from earlier high points).

Overall, Into The Light is a catchy, sing-along record that makes Medicine Men a must see at festivals this summer. Definitely a band that warrants your attention.

You can catch the band at their album launch in Nice n Sleazy’s, Glasgow on May 27th.

Samuel Marshall
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