If you were asked to trace the phylogeny of Tame Impala’s aesthetic, it’s unlikely that you would bring up Queens of the Stone Age. “Elephant,” the ass-kicking lead single from the soon-to-be-released Lonerism, captures the same sidewalk-stomping swagger found on “God Is In The Radio,” but is also in step with early rock/metal trailblazers like Zeppelin and King Crimson. Graced with another slushy interlude, it’s both familiar and thoroughly contemporary.
The pleasures on “Elephant” are simple: A big crunchy riff that pulls back right as it’s getting comfortable (rarely is so much wrung out of two notes), an obdurate snarl, and a time-honoured rock and roll sound. The tone on the guitars may conjure intense mental images of things breaking in slow motion or greasers speeding down highways in convertibles. If “Apocalypse Dreams” was a purposeful cruise through an acidified sonic wasteland, “Elephant” is, as vocalist Kevin Parker puts it: “for the hell of it.”
Lonerism is due out October 5th on Modular Recordings.