Fell in love with White Fence a couple years ago, was almost equally enamored with Hair (a split with Ty Segall), but Cyclops Reap had me wondering when oh when was the smoke going to clear.
It is probably apt that Cyclops Reap begins in a false start, a two-second blare of organ and drum machine that stops abruptly and gives way to Tim Presley’s signature fuzzed guitar. All White Fence albums are, to one degree or another, exercises in ignoring distractions, clearing away extraneities and brushing off the dirt and distortion. The reward, when it comes, is in fragments of melodic beauty glinting like beach glass amid sand and sea junk.
Cyclops Reap is, if anything, more loosely strung and haphazard than earlier White Fence albums, a tidal drift of floating guitar lines, Lennon-ish whimsies, minimalist drums and tape hiss. Nothing leaps out of the mess like “Sara Snow” did from the self-titled LP, nothing grabs you by the lapels like “I Can’t Get Around You” did in the Ty Segall split Hair. “Pink Gorilla” is the single almost by default. It is only fractionally more in-your-face and immediate than any of the other songs.