ALBUM REVIEW: Take a trip back in time with Needle Points

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First Posted: 4/21/2014

Someone should’ve told Doc Brown he didn’t need to swindle plutonium out of a bunch of trigger-happy Libyans to fuel his time machine – the music of Philadelphia’s Needle Points is a much cheaper alternative. Then again, the Doc’s DeLorean never visited the ‘70s, and that’s exactly where the wormhole of an album that is “Bom Tugangu” leads to.

Upon hearing Needle Points play for the first time, it’s legitimately difficult to believe the band – which counts Brian Langan, formerly of Scranton’s The Sw!ms, among its members – doesn’t actually hail from the brown acid era. Rolling six tracks of psychedelic garage rock into a jumbo-sized joint sure to spiral your astral body out into a tie-dyed vortex of vintage boogie, “Bom Tugangu” communes with the spirits of Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly, and The Who.

Album opener “I Drink Rainfall” pairs the band’s fuzzed-out guitars, shimmery tambourine, and energetic vocals – which smoothly vacillate from a croon to a howl – with some woozy, seriously sexy riffage. “NeedLove (City Walls)” drifts through a haze, “Cocoanut” goes on safari, and “Biting at the Rose” kicks up a party, but it’s the deep, oozing stoner rock bass of “Child is Wild” and the surprisingly New York Dolls/Stooges-esque proto-punk flourishes of “Woven Wild” that demand attention.

Uniting all six tracks is an attitude of laidback good times, the kind of vibe that makes chicks shake hips and dudes keep their shades on all night long. The antique-y warmth of the production and mixing completes the package.

There are plenty of bands out there trying to do the same thing Needle Points is doing, but most of them feel like little more than nostalgic novelty acts. Those bands trade on retro appeal without bringing anything of their own to the table. The members of Needle Points, meanwhile, own this sound like they invented it.

Needle Points ‘Bom Tugangu’ Rating: W W W W