If you take your name from a Syd Barrett song, your music had better be memorably catchy and downright weird. And it wouldn't hurt if your singer sounded like he was constantly on the verge of sailing off the edge of reality. Italian group Jennifer Gentle has nailed these requirements and thus earned rights to the name. In the past seven years, the group has recorded a series of albums, including a collaboration with Makoto Kawabata of Acid Mothers Temple, that have steadily developed its psych-rock-meets-indie-pop sound. The latest in the series, The Midnight Room, released on Sub Pop, shines like blue sunshine. Replete with songs that show a definite homage not only to Barrett's work — both solo and with Pink Floyd — but also to kraut rock and the Elephant 6 sound, the album is a dense and at times claustrophobic masterpiece of psychedelia that seems to exist in an era all its own. If the group lives up to its reputation as an act that's better live than on record, this tour could represent the best Jennifer Gentle has ever been.
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