Review: The Reverb Conspiracy Vol. 3

Reverb 3 Cover

It’s time to pull out your comfiest couch, stick it in the garden and start rolling a joint – the third instalment in the Reverb Conspiracy series has landed. Co-released by European label Fuzz Club Records and Austin Psych Fest founders The Reverberation Appreciation Society, the compilation features some of the gems of European’s psychedelic crown.

“I like to look at it as a modern Nuggets series,” says curator Casper Dee. “A way of capturing the essence of the underground scene as it is today and documenting it for the history books. There’s so much amazing music coming out now and a huge energy within the scene; we feel like this is an era of Rock & Roll that we’ll all look back on as the start of something big.”

For anybody already versed in the modern psych ‘wave’ that’s been washing up on shores the world over in the past decade – a movement inspired by stalwarts such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre and epitomised by the sometimes cringeworthy popularity of groups such as Tame Impala and Temples – the compilation is a list of names to make your fingers shake in anticipation. From Iceland’s Singapore Sling to Swedish cult-raisers Goat and Italian gazers Newcandys, The Reverb Conspiracy forms a far-reaching European constellation of both long-time heavyweights and impressive emerging talents.

These groups are the real deal; independent musicians that aren’t interested in hitting the mainstream but simply put their heads down, making quality music that draws from the best of decades past and synthesises it into future visions. Through the magic of avenues such as the internet and international festivals like Austin Psych Fest, these bands have come together from all corners in a unified rejection of all things stale and standard. You couldn’t necessarily say that there’s pop appeal here, but thankfully so, and there’s definitely something for everyone.

The Reverb Conspiracy Vol 3. is remarkably all-encompassing, providing us with segments of the entire psychedelic spectrum. From the fuzzy howl of Singapore Sling’s ‘You Drive Me Insane’ to the Slowdive-esque slow mover ‘Suddenlines’ by The History of Colour TV, the tracks have been cleverly chosen and sequenced in a way that points toward the uniqueness of each. The whole string is such a metamorphosing pleasure that it’s difficult to find a downpoint; highlights, however, are bountiful. Goat’s ‘Hide From The Sun’, mixed by The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, is a flighty number dripping with Eastern strings while Camera’s ‘Ausland’ is a ramped up krautrock fit that’ll make your chest beat double-kick time. ‘Away From The Water’ is a wonderful six-minute slowheavy from Lola Colt, and it also has a star studded into it – it was produced by Jim Sclavunos of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Even the cover contains a story, painted by eclectic Dead Skeletons mastermind Jon Saemundur, aka Nonni Dead.

This is a truly refreshing compilation that successfully draws from the most exciting and fruitful of Europe’s psychedelic springs. As a longtime lover of all things fuzzy and heavy, it’s a joy to see such fantastic underground acts getting the recognition that they deserve, in an intelligent and uncompromising manner.

The Reverb Conspiracy Vol. 3 is out now, though get your grubby hands into the cookie barrel quickly – it’s limited to a run of 1200 numbered white double-vinyls and 1000 CDs, which you can purchase via The Fuzz Club’s webshop.

Chloe Mayne


Words by Chloe Mayne.