Reuniting with his old friends Crazy Horse earlier this year for covers record ‘Americana,’ their first record together in a decade, clearly reignited this legendary rocker’s muse. Just six months on and they’re back with the sprawling Psychedelic Pill. Recorded with Young’s trademark analogue audiophile obsessiveness at his own Broken Arrow Studios, and weighing in at almost an hour and a half, the fearsome quartet ensure there’s plenty of material to wade through.
At 27 minutes in length ‘Driftin’ Back’ is a formidable opener which, dense as it is, rather hampers the record as casual listening project. Hearkening back to the likes of ‘Cowgirl in the Sand’, Jesus, the Maharishi and Picasso all make appearances as Mr. Young bemoans the corruption of art by the very medium which is supposed to render it more accessible.
Two other tracks; ‘Ramada Inn’ and ‘Walk Like a Giant’ leave the quarter of an hour barrier trailing behind them. In the case of the former, a tale of a couple growing older together, it might lapse into sentimental tedium if it were not for some of his fiercest soloing since 1990’s grungy Ragged Glory. ‘Twisted Road’ and ‘Born In Ontario’ are explicitly autobiographical, dealing with events and figures that have shaped Young over the years. 40 years on Young still has something to say, and he’s damn determined you’ll listen.