Cyclops Reap, White Fence

By: Scott Carney

April 10th, 2013

Tim Presley is nothing if not prolific. The former member of Darker My Love and The Strange Boys has been churning out homemade psychedelic gems under the White Fence moniker since 2010. In a mere three years he’s already racked up an impressive catalog, releasing four full-length solo albums, a few cassettes, a handful of singles, and a collaborative LP with his equally productive friend Ty Segall – all recorded in his Los Angeles apartment. With Cyclops Reap, Presley had intended to release some older material from his staggering surplus of unreleased songs (allegedly in the hundreds), but eventually opted to record brand new tracks specifically for the album. It’s a good thing he did, because Cyclops Reap is Presley’s most focused and accessible record to date, capturing the artist at his creative peak.

As much as I love White Fence, his previous albums are almost overwhelming at times, usually containing over 15 tracks that begin to blur together when listening to it in its entirety. Cyclops Reap features an abbreviated track set of eleven songs, allowing his material to breathe and stand apart. While the songs aren’t as muddled as his earlier work, the production still caters towards Presley’s warped lo-fi sensibilities, seen most notably in the fuzzy freak-outs “Beat” and “Pink Gorilla.” Presley also takes time to highlight his mellower side, evidenced by the sweet, poppy “Live on Genevieve” and the jaunty folk of “To the Boy I Jumped in the Hemlock Alley.”

Perhaps the finest outing yet from White Fence, Cyclops Reap never overstays its welcome and will have listeners hitting “repeat” rather than “track advance.” Though Presley’s sound recalls the psychedelic vibes of yesteryear, it never comes across as imitative. Instead, Presley expands on these qualities and truly makes them his own, embracing a genuine rock ‘n’ roll DIY aesthetic. Given this step-up in production, I can only imagine the territory that his next album will cover, which at this rate should only be a matter of months.