By Colin Gallant
Do you ever wish it could be the ‘60s forever? If so, you likely have a lot in common with Jacco Gardner. It’s a style many love or hate, but should psychedelia-leaning baroque pop be evaluated on its advancement of the sound or its faithful capabilities? Hypnophobia has all the organ tones and pre-jangle twee accoutrements you might expect. Kudos to Gardner for making them all sound clean, agile and un-ironic. There are moments where he gets by on charming genre-fetishism like impressive opener “Another You.” The track launches skillfully from drone vibes to strummy to explosive. The following five songs don’t capitalize on this good will. Instead, they’re happy to languish in the elements explored by the album’s introduction. However, by the time we reach “Before The Dawn,” (the only track to test listeners’ patience with its length) we get to see a little more of Gardner’s dynamism. For seven minutes, the song coyly toys with a minimal krautified take on the established groove before exploding into a ghoulish synth frenzy that crashes and spirals out towards the album’s final tracks, which overall are not as memorable. Nostalgia hags ought to be happy with the complete package, but the same can’t be said for an outsider. Gardner’s occasional boldness is rewarding, but not everyone with an impressive record collection needs to make LPs.