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McFadden's Parachute: Is This Actually New...Er...Modern...Er...

There’s a lot of fuzzy psych out there either from the first period dating to the sixties or the eighties or even more modern stuff – like last year. And while there’re always going to be ensembles attempting to embolden a passed fad, McFadden’s Parachute might actually be the best recreation of garage and psych that was too shambolic for inclusion on Nuggets. After hearing any cut off of Black Fuzz, a pretty appropriate title, it’d be difficult to not think this thing was from any year between 1967 and 1969. Of course, it was designed to be that way, but still, a pretty stunning accomplishment and one that won’t ever be fully appreciated by the public at large.

Hailing from Rochester, New York and doing time in any number of small time garage and psych acts from around the area, it’s curios that Darren McFadden’s solo project has garnered more attention than those other works. Of course, that’s pretty relative seeing as the market for such auld tyme and dated sounds isn’t that huge. McFadden’s Parachute, in addition to issuing a handful of work including a covers project, counts a song called “Crashing Into Amethyst” in its song book that well may work to define an updated sixties sound. By updated, though, it should be understood that there’s nothing differentiating this composition from older works. It just sounds old. There’s not an overt Monkees’ thing here, but the jaunty melody working its way through the song’s first section is pretty radio ready if it were 1967. Hitting the chorus, the song jumps to a pace more befitting the term punk, but only if some punks ate a fistful of acid and listened to Syd Barrett improvise for a little bit. Yeah, it’s that good. And yeah, it’s surprising.

After seven minutes of what rates as top notch, anything following is going to be a bit of a step down. That being said “No Good Without You” sports a pretty nasty guitar sound even if the song seems tied too closely to Cher. Either way “Going Home” and “The Other Side” continue on in a Chesterfield Kings sorta way. The main verses of either don’t drastically differ from “Chrashing into Amethyst.” There’s just no instrumental workout separating the earlier track from this latter fair for a variety of reasons.

Granted, it’s difficult to gauge the contributions of a musician from hearing only a portion of his recorded work, but McFadden’s Parachute probably hasn’t issued any straight clunkers.