In amongst a series of colourful post-punk acts, one name in particular stands out in the Boogie Festival 2018 line-up. The Perth-based Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are bound to win you over – whether their perplexing tag made you chuckle, or their unique brand of lysergic rock has you shifting between a leisurely sway and concussion-inducing mosh.

Despite the attention-grabbing name, lead singer and guitarist Jack McEwan is rather coy about the group’s success. He enjoys obscurity, looking up to the cultist, recherché likes of King Crimson – famed for a short period of time, though ultimately timeless.

“With our first album (High Visceral: Part One) we were just like,we should hide it somewhere’, or ‘we should just leave vinyls around, just put them out’.”

Originally an inside joke, the band had hoped their name, for opacity’s sake, would be blocked from search engine results. It wasn’t long before the label grew to typify them, and they started to take it seriously.

“I kind of like it how it makes you think. You have to be like,What is a porn crumpet, what is a psychedelic porn crumpet?’.”

The notion of challenging listeners and causing them to question things is applied across the entire Psychedelic Porn Crumpets discography. Jack favours quality over quantity, preferring to bemuse consumers rather than churn out mindless ditty after ditty. Indeed, the Porn Crumpets’ music evokes some sort of existentialist sentiment – mesmerising instrumental compositions, ethereal vocals and intergalactic lyrics rounding out some of Australia’s very best artistry. Just listen to Buzz (High Visceral: Part Two) for some example of all three.

Voyaging across the country a number of times to rattle pubs and guzzle grog, talent and hard work appear to have paid dividends for the Porn Crumpets. Having played their very first festival at Tasmania’s Party in the Paddock last month, Jack notes the huge contrast between the open-air setting and the intimate bandrooms they had become accustomed to.

“Oh man, it is just infinitely bigger. We went, and everyone was just like ‘woah, you sound so big’.”

“I was listening to the subs on the speakers from the festival, and the depth in our frequency range between our instruments compared to someone with heavy synth…it could just puncture a hole in your heart.”

An indulgent music analyst, Jack says the festival experience has changed his views on other psychedelic rock bands.

“I loved Tame Impala’s new album, Currents, but it sounded so different to Innerspeaker or Lonerism, where there was all this guitar and stuff. I never understood that transition until we started playing festivals.”

“Like that’s how a festival sound is going to be. At its biggest – through those speakers.”

The experience may very well have altered the musical trajectory of the Porn Crumpets themselves, with their third album currently in the works.

“You kind of evolve to aim at where you’re playing, your surroundings.”

“I really want to do a heavy drum-and-bass album. Not drum and bass, but like new-age big subs. I just think the beat in a speaker, like on those festival speakers – it was massive. It made me feel like I could float. I don’t know, maybe that would be a good project.”

Although justifiably excited, the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are well-aware of the pressure put on artists to release a successful third album.

“It’s going to be judged the heaviest that anything will get judged. There’ll be like a scar on your face for life – like ‘yeah you were good until you released that monstrosity of a third album’.”

More pressingly is the crusade against underground artists who ‘sell out’ and evolve into a sound that will appease a bigger crowd. The Porn Crumpets, despite rapidly-increasing in recognition, remain in touch with their humble beginnings. Jack reminds himself that the band’s first album was recorded on a computer, sings about his bare survival on seven-dollar Subway sandwiches and recently started work at a pub with free beer incentives. While yes, the Crumpets are ultimately enthused performing at pubs, it is well worth your while to see them perform live at Boogie Festival – intricate sound systems and all. Take it from Jack himself:

“If you’re standing at the front, I think you’ll be a fan for life.”

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets 2018 Tour Dates
March 29 – w/ Narla – Hotel Steyne – Manly, NSW
March 30 – Bad Friday 9 – Marrickville, NSW
March 30 – April 2 – Boogie Festival 12 – Tallarook, VIC
April 24 – w/ Royal Blood – Hordern Pavilion – Sydney, NSW
May 7 – w/ Royal Blood – Riverstage – Brisbane, QLD
May 9 – w/ Royal Blood – Margaret Court Arena – Melbourne, VIC
May 13 – w/ Royal Blood – HBF Stadium – Perth, WA
May 26 – w/ Royal Blood – Big Pineapple Music Festival – Woombye, QLD

Listen to the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets:
High Visceral: Part One 
High Visceral: Part Two 
Old News For New People/High Visceral: B-Sides