Few bands overpower the senses quite like Kairon; IRSE! The Finnish group, who describe their music as “psychedelic chaos,” practice a distinctive form of kaleidoscopic psych-rock maximalism: a sprawling yet intricate blend of krautrock, stoner rock, and prog, festooned with cosmic jazz saxophone and interdimensional synthesizer. Their third album Polysomn, tempers the largesse of their first two efforts (2014’s Ujubasajuba and 2017’s Ruination) with approachable art pop whimsy, producing heady, heavy results.
Polysomn still carries echoes of Kairon; IRSE!’s rhythmic past, indebted equally to Pink Floyd’s billowing prog and Can’s motorik moonshake; this time around, though, melodies and hooks are strategically placed among a labyrinth of sonic bells and whistles. “Psionic Static” zeroes in on the intersection of lo-fi and sci-fi, with a miasmal intro of space-age synths and crackly beats gradually intensifying and opening up the song up into an imposing, wondrous anthem. The band puts hooks front and center on the soaring “Retrograde,” even when backed by what sounds like dozens of guitar tracks. When Kairon; IRSE! dial down the din, they remain delightfully weird and otherworldly, as on the standout “Mir Inoi,” a soft twinkling dirge reminiscent of UK psych-pop outfit Broadcast, with no discernible guitars to be found—just minimal loops of eerie synths. Concise yet overstuffed with acid-laced ear candy, “White Flies” is the album’s most direct application of dopamine to the pleasure centers, a relatively straightforward pop gem that still feels like passing through a portal into another dimension. “Psychedelic chaos” might very well reflect Kairon; IRSE!’s methods, but the end product on Polysomn sounds more like interstellar harmony.