John Lennon is alive and well, and before you ask, no, he doesn’t have a monobrow. These days he passes himself off as Rick Corcoran, whose Orgone Box album from 1996 does Beatles-era Revolver better than any of those oh-so-hip US bands you could care to mention. It’s a real contender for the best pop-psych album of the last decade.
Named after a device created by Wilhelm Reich to capture the energy of the universe, The Orgone Box is a moniker for one-man pop-psych genius Rick Corcoran. Actually, Corcoran’s sound is more akin to Across The Universe, as he takes his inspiration directly from Lennon and The Beatles. Just listen to the pleading Find The One – it sounds so like Lennon, it’s scary. Liam Gallagher would give his monobrow to have written it.
“I’ve got a psychedelic mind,” sings Corcoran on the brilliant Anaesthesia – and you’re inclined to believe him. In the mid-‘90s, Corcoran was part of Orange, who had a minor hit with the fantastic Judy Over The Rainbow. This album includes a version of that song as well as plenty of other modern pop-psyche nuggets.
Originally released in Japan in 1996, The Orgone Box’s self-titled debut lay undiscovered until our friends at Minus Zero Records decided to release it. Thank god they did, it’s easily one of the finest British pop albums of the last ten years. Drawing comparisons to Revolver/Sgt Pepper-era Beatles, Corcoran has an ear for an irresistible melody – the album is shot through with instantly memorable tunes.
From the Byrdsy jangle of Hello Central… Give Me Ganymede; to the dreamy Bubble and the sad-eyed Guilt Trip, this is classy stuff, Corcoran’s FX-laden Lennonesque vocals drifting in from another galaxy over a head-spinning mix of chiming guitars, hazy sounds and layered instrumentation. There’s also a temporary diversion into fuzzed-up power-pop (Noddyland) and the Dylan meets Robyn Hitchcock gem Ticket With No Return. If you like this, you’ll also love Cotton Mather’s Kontiki – more of the same Fab Four-friendly, psychedelic earcandy. It’s perfect for Mellotroning out to….
The Orgone Box (Minus Zero) 1996 (issued in UK 2001)