One of the first bands I ever interviewed – albeit over email – was Retro Dizzy. At that time they were fresh outta Hermanus, a happy-go-lucky surf-rock conglomerate looking to make it on the Cape Town front.
Five years down the line and they’ve morphed into a fully fledged psych-rock situation – honed and toned and simply oozing quality stuff.
Automatic Expectation is their fourth album to be released to the world – clocking in at just under an hour, it packs a heady punch of reeling bass lines and languid riffage. They’re at the point where experimentalism is simply part of the package – and they play cheekily with almost every track.
Drawn off a narrative, spoken lyric “45 De Villiers Street” is grinding beneath the cascading melody and dark backline beat – while “Concord” takes its time with anthemic, untethered riffage which dips, unprovoked, into a eerie, warping
interlude. “Automatic” is 6 minutes of goosebump-enducing, deeply uncomfortable sound: a cluttered and wily array of screeching guitars and bass tones.
Things get sexy (“Lover Boy”), wildly rollicking (“Palestine Panic”) and even strip down to a languid, silky psych haze in closing track “Sunday”.
I’ve had my money on these guys from day one, and this album has pushed their personal envelope into something else entirely.