If the purpose of the twisting nature of surfy garage rock wrapped in the fuzzy nature of psychedelia is to overwhelm the senses, then Wild Raccoon’s Half Pine Cone will do just that. Wild Raccoon is the manifestation of Raton Sauvage, who alone does the vocals and instrumentals (with the exception of the cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “How Do You Feel” where he is joined by Justine Watkins and Noémie Vénère from E.T. Aloha.)
Half Pine Cone opens up with the track “Sasquatch Arms,” which proceeds to slowly draw the unwary listener into the lulls of shallow tranquility while stirring something deep within the consciousness. It is with this number that Wild Raccoon captivates the listener and offers something close to inspiration. Half Pine Cone progresses the style of psychedelic garage rock by dramatically fusing sounds that will provoke moving and grooving like being under the weight of a binding spell. The second number “Hitch-Hike Syndrom” pushes onward with pounding sensations that get the blood rushing. Going forward it is clear to see and hear why Wild Raccoon does a stunning job at blending the storied genres of psychedelic rock ‘n roll with the low-fi feel of surf garage with a certain freshness that makes a sound that is otherwise used up seem a bit more accessible.
Top numbers for consideration are the wild and frantic instrumental “Break All Ties,” the numbing “Wood Ghosts” and Wild Raccoon’s cover of “How Do You Feel.” Picking this album up is recommended, but not for the faint of heart. A fair warning before plugging it, from start to finish this is a listen that will invoke emotions— both strong and something else. —Nick Kuzmack