Travel, rather than hallucinogenics, has apparently been the main thing expanding Jacco Gardner's mind during the process of creating Hypnophobia. That and a bit of difficulty "letting go of reality" and drifting off to sleep.
Certainly there is a touch less whimsy herein than on 2013 debut Cabinet Of Curiosities, which could be attributed to that strong grip on the day to day whilst experiencing more of the world.
This has not been gained with an equivalent lessening of the psychedelic quotient though; things are still fully operational in that department. Structurally Hypnophobia builds ever upwards and things get seriously psychy from 'Find Yourself' onwards. As with album number one Gardner easily manages to both hark back to the Sixties beginnings of the sound he purveys whilst sympathetically modernising it here and there ('Before The Dawn' being a fine example of this in practice).
The implied menace of the album's Giallo-like cover art (and, lets face it, any word ending in 'phobia') from The Focus Group's Julian House finds its musical representation perfectly realised on the title track, by far the darkest composition of the ten tracks after which 'Make Me See' ends up feeling almost inconsequential by comparison. Thankfully though this doesn't result in the album fizzling out in the closing stage as the harpsichord & mellotron of the aptly titled 'All Over' provide a jaunty although not altogether light of touch ending to what is, on the whole, a very strong second album.