DJ Andrew Weatherall was Jagwar Ma’s studio neighbour when the Aussie psych group’s second album was being recorded. This record’s target market will not remember the moment British rock bands discovered acid house in the late 80s, often abetted by Weatherall. To those ears, Jagwar Ma’s mix of Screamadelica-era Primal Scream, baggy beats (some by Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa), and a soupcon of daisy age hip-hop may well sound fresh rather than bewilderingly retro. Some tunes are strong: singles such as O B 1, named after a vintage synth, or Give Me a Reason, with its little amoeba-themed outro, will only shore up Jagwar Ma’s reputation as a feelgood festival must-see. Ordinary brings in some welcome soul. But Jagwar Ma are still playing catch-up with their compatriots, Tame Impala and the Avalanches.
Kitty Empire is the Observer's pop critic. She has written for NME and occasionally crops up on Radio 4, 5Live, BBC 6Music, and has appeared on BBC2's The Culture Show and Newsnight Review. @kittyempire666