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Although Corsica Garden is their debut album proper, Anglo-French Paris-based quartet Os Noctâmbulos are hardly strangers to the world of touring and recording: last year they put out their 39th & The Nortons cassette via Evil Hoodoo, played an amazing set at Liverpool Psych Fest, and recorded what is now their first LP (according to their Bandcamp, the album sessions only lasted two days!).

The album opens with 'Forever' - a beautifully haunting tune that showcases how visceral and incredibly nostalgic Nick Wheeldon's voice can be. 'Song For Olivier''s lo-fi guitars places the band's influences a couple of decades later with its slightly grungy, proto-punk nature. And if 'It Scares Me' appears as one the album's weakest links (its immediate, uninventive structure sounds a bit like a B-side filler, although the keyboards during its second half are a pleasant surprise), we clearly understand why 'Forget Everything' was chosen as one of the release's preview tracks: featuring a very subtle surfy beat (developed later in the album by tracks like 'Polly'), the tune is memorable, dramatic, contagious, and overall stunning - something that you'd expect to see on a Nuggets compilation. Oh, and that organic ending with the lingering keyboards? Beautiful.

Instrumental, Dick Dale-ish track 'Polly' closes the first half of the album: we've now been transported to the Pacific Coast's most perfect wave and the sun is setting smoothly, softly burning your skin. Back to the garage-coloured side of the fence, two more forgettable tracks 'Devil Don't Hide' and 'On The Run' give room to another '60s underground-inspired gem - a fabulous song titled 'Wild' whose desperate undertone oddly makes it something The Wytches could have recorded. Another great garage-sounding track ('Bad Ma') follows, and the half hour of Corsica Garden ends with the smooth, lullabyesque 'Walk On'.

In a year where neo-psychedelia gains a new dimension and, by losing its novelty status, it becomes necessary to separate the wheat from the tare, Os Noctâmbulos have definitely shown they are not a fad. Corsica Garden is not perfect, but it's a pretty tight record that showcases the band's potential - and if you're into early Garage proto-psych bands like The Seeds or Electric Prunes, this one is definitely for you.

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