Psychedelic Rock was a music that represented a cultural shift. It's a genre that conjures up images of geometric patterns, expanding and contracting into each other, of wild otherworldly spaces and of the flower toting hippie culture of the '60s and '70s.
Although the genre had its heyday decades ago, there has been something of a rival over the last 15 years. Much of the most notable work has come from Down Under, with a number of Australian and New Zealand groups making exciting inroads into the innovation of the genre. During the last decade, the influences of these musicians have seeped across the musical spectrum and into the mainstream.
Many of the genre's characteristics are being adopted and repackaged for a pop audience. With ever more exciting and interesting attempts at genre blending, it's obvious the power and influence of psychedelic rock is still very much being felt.
These albums exemplify the different manifestations of the genre over the years, showcasing the amount of nuance artists are able to pull from its core elements. From legendary pioneers to the more recent innovators, these are the psychedelic rock records you should be aware of.
10. Nonagon Infinity - King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (2016)
King Gizzard might be one of the most prolific hard rockers of the last ten years. These guys have released no less than 18 studio albums since 2012. All have been explorations into the realm of progressive rock, metal or wild psychedelia .
Their 2016 album was a masterpiece of hard rock psychedelia. As the name of the album indicates this record could go on forever. The final track feeds straight back into the first, so if you were to play this on a loop you might never escape. Although album flow isn't high up on the agenda of many bands in the mainstream these days, King Gizzard made it a priority when it came to the crafting of this record. The mix was perfectly tailored to ensure the listener experiences the songs in a fluid continuum.
It's pedal to the metal from the first millisecond, with high energy drums and layered guitars that add a wealth of texture. The recurring lyrics "Nonagon Infinity opens the door" pops up from time to time across the album, which often results in some confusion as to how long you've been listening for, but that's all part of the experience. Once you enter this audible vortex there's no escape.
A warning for anyone enjoying this for the first time, block off a good hour, there isn't a single moment to naturally drop out of this album.