Sometimes I get to wondering if there are any surprises left in life let alone in music but, if you wait long enough, one always comes along. Not three, like buses would do, but one and The Changes furnished one of those very surprises with their EP “Magic Mystic Psychedelic Ride”. Then again, if I had actually looked at the back of the sleeve before listening and seen the name of Martin Livingstone then I might have guessed something was coming this way.
In my defence, the first three songs on this 4 song EP seemed to be no more than above average indie rock and it was no surprise therefore to find out that The Changes hail from West Lothian where many wise men assert that time was forever stopped by the Gallagher brothers. Certainly, all the right sonic influences were also in place as if Oasis and the Small Faces had been forced into togetherness by some scientist’s time machine but, on closer inspection, the drug references in the lyrics were rather more pronounced than one would expect of a post Verve band. A clue, perhaps?
It matters not, however, for the trip was about to begin in earnest. Clocking in at the best part of seven minutes, “The Illusion” isn’t really about this time or place. It’s a trip up the metaphorical Mekong Delta to assassinate the assassin whilst the world resprays itself in all the colours of rainbow and the lyrics are spaced out as if searching for something that isn’t looking to be found. Tempos shift, the singer rants in quasi religious rationality and the ghost of Manzarek fades the power chords into the final coda. The end. Boom!
One surprise and I get a whole new reason to keep listening. Now that’s real value.