At its most decisive, Foam Castle’s 2010 release “Molly’s Jungle” was an ideal narrative of the urban a.m. twilight— a hauntingly introspective look into the mind of the apathetic youth before the harsh realities of the morning after came crashing down violently.
Now, less than a year later, Tyler Jackson and company once again delve into the self-conscious with “Come Over To My House” an EP that, while extraordinarily short at four tracks, is an exceptional reminder of why Foam Castles continues to be one of Portland’s most remarkably diverse bands.
While “Molly’s Jungle” was a heartbreaking account of ambivalence, “Come Over To My House” never completely settles into apathy, or any other emotion. In fact the album simply doesn’t slow down its pace at any point.
The lead track “Horticulture Friends” has the band once again venturing into the swirling surrealism of Primal Scream’s 1991 masterpiece “Screamadica.” But while Foam Castle’s previous work possessed a subconscious nod to the 90s acid house mavens, “Horticulture Friends” is an all-out embracement of experimental multitrack recording and overdubs.
A throbbing bassline holds together what is probably the most accessible song of the album, while Jackson hazily repeats “Friends/I miss my horticulture friends,” accented by twin spiking guitars.
While the song’s structure is inherently repetitious, it’s anything but dull, as hand-claps, horns and percussive loops courtesy of Foam Castles D.J. Moore are littered throughout, re-emphasizing Jackson’s inherit ability to successfully cull through the history of numerous genres of music.
Foam Castles completely abandon their inhibitions and any semblance of traditional songwriting with “Walking Through the Desert.” At nearly five minutes, the cascading track covers every time change possible, stopping and starting at random intervals, creating the most hallucinatory song from an album based purely upon the adjective.
Although the most obvious contemporary comparison would be to the solo work of Animal Collective’s Panda Bear, “Walking Through the Desert” leapfrogs over the spiritual experiences of its predecessors, creating a disorienting but implicitly beautiful track that is a standout in a wholly impressive effort.
It would be limiting to simply reduce “Come Over To My House” as a psychedelic side step in the already impressive string of releases from Foam Castles. At four tracks, the band have successfully covered more ground than any of their Portland contemporaries and above all, show that they aren’t willing to be limited in scope, influences or prior expectations.