Cut Copy, Free Your Mind

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 11.05.13 in Reviews

Free Your Mind

Cut Copy
Mixing acid-rock and acid-house with minimum subtlety and maximum euphoria

For their fourth album, the popular Melbourne dance band Cut Copy reconstitute early ’90s house music with late ’60s psychedelia, and they are not subtle about it. When the foursome recreate the blissed-out rush of Welsh house group K-Klass on “Let Me Show You Love,” frontman Dan Whitford sings the entire chorus to their “Let Me Show You,” although at a fraction of the original’s tempo, as if he’d pitched down the actual vinyl. Pounding, shamelessly hammy keyboard riffs practically plagiarize the Italo house hits of Black Box, and on every dance track, the grooves the overloaded wallop that rave DJs hell-bent on taking dancers to heaven rely on.

The psychedelic elements are similarly overt. On “Dark Corners & Mountain Tops,” paisley bursts of guitars jingle-jangle while a merry-go-organ wheezes, sound effects of children squealing swirling from speaker to speaker. “Walking in the Sky” similarly warps strummed folk guitars, banging tambourines, and beatific wordless chanting to suggest a hippie gospel revival underwater.

This isn’t the first time acid rock and acid house have met on the same record: The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and Primal Scream all brought them together more than 20 years ago during the initial indie-dance wave. But Cut Copy lean way heavier on the second half of that hyphenate, and do it with far more tangible joy: Famed for his work with Flaming Lips and MGMT, Dave Fridmann mixes Free Your Mind for maximum club impact on the bottom while packing the treble with twirl-y details that flash and ooze like the liquid light shows of bygone ballrooms. The results are emphatically euphoric.