|Cultural origins||Late 1970s, United States and United Kingdom|
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Neo-psychedelia (or acid punk) is a diverse subgenre of alternative/indie rock that originated in the 1970s as an outgrowth of the British post-punk scene. Its practitioners drew from the unusual sounds of 1960s psychedelic music, either updating or copying the approaches from that era. After the post-punk bands, neo-psychedelia flourished into a more widespread and international movement of artists who applied the spirit of psychedelic rock to new sounds and techniques. Neo-psychedelia may also include forays into psychedelic pop, jangly guitar rock, heavily distorted free-form jams, or recording experiments. A wave of British alternative rock in the early 1990s spawned the subgenres dream pop and shoegazing.
Neo-psychedelic acts borrowed a variety of elements from 1960s psychedelic music. Some emulated the psychedelic pop of bands like the Beatles and early Pink Floyd, others adopted Byrds-influenced guitar rock, or distorted free-form jams and sonic experimentalism of the 1960s. Some neo-psychedelia has been explicitly focused on drug use and experiences,. and like contemporaneous acid house, projects transitory, ephemeral, and trance-like experiences. Other bands have used neo-psychedelia to accompany surreal or political lyrics.
Psychedelic rock declined towards the end of the 1960s, as bands broke up or moved into new forms of music, including heavy metal music and progressive rock. According to Chrome's Helios Creed: "We never said that we were psychedelic, we said we were New Wave, or Acid Punk ... So they made this list of bands and called it 'Acid Punk'. There was Devo, Pere Ubu, Chrome, and some other bands I never heard of. There was about ten of them, the top ten of Acid Punk, they didn't want to call it psychedelia, it was New Wave psychedelia". In the late 1970s, bands of the post-punk scene, including the Teardrop Explodes, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Soft Boys, drew from the sound of 1960s psychedelia, In the US in the early 1980s these bands were joined by the Paisley Underground movement, based in Los Angeles, with acts like The Dream Syndicate, The Bangles and Rain Parade. In the 1980s and 1990s there were occasional mainstream acts that dabbled in neo-psychedelia, including Prince's mid-1980s work and some of Lenny Kravitz's 1990s output, but neo-psychedelia has mainly been the domain of alternative and indie rock bands.
Influenced by house music, northern soul and funk, a less nostalgic brand of neo-psychedelia, dubbed "scallydelia", developed in the late 1980s among alternative rock bands of the Madchester scene, including The Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets and The Farm.[additional citation needed] The late 1980s would see the birth of shoegazing, which, among other influences, took inspiration from 1960s psychedelia. Critic Simon Reynolds referred to this movement as "a rash of blurry, neo-psychedelic bands" in a 1992 article in The Observer. With loud walls of sound, where individual instruments and even vocals were often indistinguishable, they followed the neo-psychedelic lead of bands like My Bloody Valentine (often considered as the earliest shoegaze act). Major shoegaze acts included Ride, Lush, Chapterhouse, and The Boo Radleys, who enjoyed considerable attention in the UK but largely failed to break through in the US.
AllMusic states: "Aside from the early-'80s Paisley Underground movement and the Elephant 6 collective of the late 1990s, most subsequent neo-psychedelia came from isolated eccentrics and revivalists, not cohesive scenes." They go on to cite what they consider some of the more prominent artists: the Church, Nick Saloman's Bevis Frond, Spacemen 3, Robyn Hitchcock, Mercury Rev, the Flaming Lips, and Super Furry Animals. According to Treble's Jeff Telrich: "Primal Scream made [neo-psychedelia] dancefloor ready. The Flaming Lips and Spiritualized took it to orchestral realms. And Animal Collective—well, they kinda did their own thing."
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