As Johnny Rotten said, ‘never trust a hippy.’ As a child of the punk wars I’ve long been disdainful of the concept and apparent reality of hippiedom.
Being an admittedly uptight, straitlaced Englishman, it probably won’t surprise you when I say I’ve never aspired to getting stoned, naked and covered in mud in a random field (not that there’s anything wrong with that per se). However what I can totally get behind is a possibly heroic struggle to break out of artificial social constructs and to strive to build a better and fairer society. Especially when that struggle is against overwhelming odds and all pervasive bone crushing cynicism.
That it failed and is now something relegated to mockery and caricature shouldn’t mask the intensity with which it burned, even when now an air of melancholy hangs over those dim and distant days only seen in blurry footage of festivals and sit-down protests.
Dreams on Tape get that misty melancholy feeling and reflect it beautifully with the aptly titled, Nostalgia.
Floridian Jake Benfant was inspired by a documentary telling the story of Woodstock, not only that but he was hit by a genuine nostalgia for the skies the limit possibilities of an age he missed. It’s a relief to find someone taking inspiration from something outside the dull and blank verse that is so often the norm, there are multiple worlds of inspiration out there, go use them!
All this and more comes across perfectly in the fever dream-like Nostalgia.
From the flickering film projector sound effect opening, to the underwater glide of the reverb cloaked guitar line and the edge of distortion bass solo, this is wistful yearning in excelsis.
‘Nostalgia on my mind, keep slipping through time…’
Lie back and dream, it’s enough to make me almost trust a hippie.