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20 Oct 2017

Sponsor “What Is Life” 1981 Swiss Private Prog

Sponsor “What Is Life” 1981 Swiss Private Prog

A1 What Is Life? 3:50 
A2 Time Of Leisure 5:10 
A3 It’s Never Too Late 4:20 
A4 A Little Black-man 3:10 
A5 Distrust 4:20 
B1 Here Comes The Player 4:40 
B2 Lucky 4:30 
B3 Faraway 3:50 
B4 Der Stolz 3:10 
B5 Vertrauen 4:40 

The Age Of Reason “ Reason” US 1969 Private Garage Psych Rock

The Age Of Reason “ Reason” US 1969 ultra rare Private Garage Psych Rock


Rock band from Virginia featuring Tommy Didly, Bill Manning, Billy Windsor & Terry Gorka. Not to be confused with The Age of Reason from the Bronx……

US’ 69 private album by this ad-hoc studio band project featuring ex-Telstars bass player Terry Gorka plus drummer Bill Manning, lead guitarist Billy Windsor and keyboard player Tommy Dildy. ….

Heavy bluesy / soulish / R&B club jamming sound full of powerful Hammond organ, hard guitar and passionate vocals, not unlike early Vanilla Fudge. Devastating covers of The Band’s “This wheel’s on fire”, Savoy Brown’s “Stay with me baby” and Sonny Bono’s (via Nancy Sinatra / Vanilla Fudge / Terry Reid) “Bang Bang” among others plus some choice originals. Starring guitar legend Danny Gatton on two tracks. 

Featured in Hans Pokora’s “1001 Record Collector Dreams” book with 2 stars rarity scale….by….music emporium …

Pressed in minute quantities by Arlington-based Georgetowne label, 1969’s “The Age of Reason” lay largely forgotten until it appeared in one of Austrian vinyl collector Hans Pokora’s books - 1001 Record Collectors Dreams. Like anything listed in one of Pokora’s books, the album’s subsequently become a high priced, in-demand release. 

This late-1960s release is also a pretty good example of hype and rarity taking precedence over quality. That’s not to imply the album’s bad, rather for the big bucks it commands, you could certainly find a couple of more enjoyable releases. 

The band apparently came together in 1967, featuring the talents of keyboardist Tommy Didly, former The Telstars bassist Terry Gorka, drummer Bill Manning, and lead guitarist Billy Windsor. 

Two years later they were apparently back in the Washington, D.C. area, releasing what may have been a vanity project on the small Arlington, Virginia-based Georgetowne label. Produced by drummer Manning, “The Age of Reason” offered up a mixture of late-1960s FM covers (Dylan, Savoy Brown Blues Band, Ike Turner) and band originals. The players were all pretty good with keyboardist Didly featured on most of the songs. 

Best of the lot was their opening Dylan cover. Showcasing a couple of band originals, side two was marginally better with Manning’s ‘The View From Tom Thompson’s Cell’ standing as one of the best performance. Elsewhere the biggest surprise was their cover of 'Temptations Bout To Get Me’. The result was a totally unexpected knockout slice of blue-eyed soul. Shame they didn’t record more in this vein. …Bad-cat…

First ever vinyl reissue of this US’ 69 private album by this ad-hoc studio band project featuring ex-Telstars bass player Terry Gorka plus drummer Bill Manning, lead guitarist Billy Windsor and keyboard player Tommy Dildy. 

Heavy bluesy / soulish / R&B club jamming sound full of powerful Hammond organ, hard guitar and passionate vocals, not unlike early Vanilla Fudge. Devastating covers of The Band’s 'This wheel’s on fire’, Savoy Brown’s 'Stay with me baby’ and Sonny Bono’s (via Nancy Sinatra / Vanilla Fudge / Terry Reid) 'Bang Bang’ among others plus some choice originals. Starring guitar legend Danny Gatton on two tracks. 

Featured in Hans Pokora’s '1001 Record Collector Dreams’ book. Remastered sound, insert. 

*Tommy Dildy - Keyboards, Vocals 
*Terry Gorka - Bass 
*Bill Manning - Drums, Vocals 
*Billy Windsor - Guitar, Vocals 
*Danny Gatton - Guitar

This Wheel’s On Fire
Stay With Me Baby
I’m Blue
Don’t Try To See Through Me
The View From Tim Thompson’s Cell
Letter To Home
Bang Bang
Temptations About To Get Me 

Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra “If Light Can’t Save Us, I Know Darkness Will” 2010 Swedish Prog Rock,Indie Rock

Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra  “If Light Can’t Save Us, I Know Darkness Will” 2010 Swedish Prog Rock,Indie Rock

Through semi-finished cigarettes, brunette starlets with fake eyelashes, neon pink signs and the cold sensitivity of Sweden, a wise and profound sentence, as the title of a new album, comes from DEXTER JONES’ CIRCUS ORCHESTRA to solve the mysteries of life, changing your whole way of thinking. It is not good if it is only Metal; the retro 60s fuzzy rock has its up for once again and the Swedish movement proves it in every chance it has. Bands like DEAD MAN, ALBATROS, BURNING SAVIOURS and UK’s JOSIAH are some of the glaring examples, making their first steps since the start of 00s and the faithful followers are many around Europe. Well, speaking of JOSIAH, Mat is an all-weather member of THE BEGINNING, DEXTER JONES’ CIRCUS ORCHESTRA and JOSIAH and I bet you can easily discover the connection. The fanciful title “If Light Can’t Save Us, I Know Darkness Will” represents DJCO latest release and this equivocal phrase’s meaning stands at the gates. 
11 tracks plunged in the scents of a passed and glorious era, are trying to resurrect the innocence and the simplicity music had 40+ years ago, via laid-back riffs, heavy readings and twin guitar harmonies. Bands like THIN LIZZY and ZZ TOP have definitely left their mark into DJCO’s music and it’s enough for you to close your eyes, light up something to smoke and enjoy the colorful trip they have prepared for your ears only. Leave for a moment aside the Metal guitars and the macho recipe and loosen up through the 46 minutes of this album. The opener “If Bars Could Bend” is able to give a small taste of what is this all about, since “I’m A Dog But You’re A Hound” and “Little Man” are the bigger winners. In “Both Of Us” you will find a bluesy version of DJCO’s music style but the retro melodies are coming back for closing the album with the excellency of “Mentally Insane” and “Sad World”. 
Releases like this, should be ‘face’ ears and minds open. Music is not only notes, bridges and choruses after all, but a creating emotion. And DJCO know to place it with the appropriate way. It may take a couple of listens to warm up to, but once left yourselves free to the acoustic waves of this contrast between ‘light and darkness’, you’ll catch selves to swim in this bittersweet river of joy. If you watch closely, you might even find this eternal battle’s winner. Besides, the best things are covered by darkness….by Maria Voutiriadou…

Despite the fun-loving feel of the music — like retro ‘60s pop rock gone warm fuzz with an ear for well-placed solos and grooves — the lyrics and themes of Stockholm five-piece Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra’s third album, If Light Can’t Save Us, I Know Darkness Will (Fuzzorama), are almost unremittingly bleak, and that bleakness is mostly self-directed. On opener “If Bars Could Bend,” we’re treated to the line, “I am a great shadow in your life, I bring you down/ I try to make it all good, but my words drown.” On centerpiece and Thin Lizzy-fied album highlight “Little Man,” we get “I need to kill what I’ve become/A dirty fly on golden grain,” and even on the more outward closer “Sad World,” the attitude is still much the same: “We’re sliding down the hole/Somebody save our souls.” 

It’s an oppressive attitude that, if you weren’t paying attention to what you were hearing, you might just glance past and miss entirely because the music hardly feels mired in the same way at all. Even a cut like “Mentally Insane,” which shows up later on If Light Can’t Save Us, I Know Darkness Will, and is maybe a little darker sounding musically is nowhere near as dreary in guitar, bass and drums as it is vocally. The dual nature of the release can be looked at one of two ways: it’s either incongruous or really interesting. Maybe it can be a bit of both. 

The upbeat country licking in the verses of “Sad World” just don’t match the words, but in a way that makes you wonder why. It’s obvious the band — which now includes Josiah’s Mat Bethancourt in its ranks and worked closely on this album with guitarist Jimmy Ågren — would know that going into the album, so what are they trying to say? Is it supposed to be a sign of hope or a post-modern dance party at the end of the world? Hey, we’re all going over anyway, might as well sing on our way down the falls, right? 

Whatever the reasoning behind their lyrical/musical matchmaking, Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra show remarkable presence on the album, each song taking on a retro feel but with redundant moments few and far between. Their sound, more than simply relying on the riffs of Tia Marklund, David Israelsson and Bethancourt (who also all contribute vocals) or the rhythms from Fredrik Jonsson (bass and vocals) and drummer Daniel Israelsson, is festive in a similar way to a less-mystical Bigelf, taking that jovial proto-prog feeling and putting it in their own, already discussed context on “I’m Not Safe” or the more straightforwardly guitar-led “The Monster by Your Side.” “Blissfully depressed” might be a good start to understanding the overall attitude of If Light Can’t Save Us, I Know Darkness Will, but the band doesn’t make it easy or throw themselves headfirst into any one subgenre, stoner rock or otherwise. This too is admirable. 

If Light Can’t Save Us, I Know Darkness Will is an oddly engaging and complex record that continues the individualized path the band set forth on their previous two albums, Side by Side and Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra, thrilling and puzzling in equal measure. It may take a couple listens to warm up to, but once transported to the places Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra want to take you, you won’t regret the trip, even if the band is bummed out the whole time. Their pain is our joy, so thanks for that….The Obelisk…

Until recently, I did not pay much heed to this Swedish band, because the previous album ‘Side by Side’ didn’t get me all too excited. Somehow I have heard it all before, but performed in a more compelling way. But it was obvious that they had great potential, which is why I was interested in receiving a promo copy of the band’s third effort, released by Fuzzorama Records in early 2010. It was a splendid decision that ensures that I changed my mind completely. DEXTER JONES’ CIRCUS ORCHESTRA make use of their full potential, which results in a wonderful album that offers a lot to the listener. Apart from the excellent playing skills, the band has managed to write eleven soulful cuts which convince with carefully arranged song structures. Their music still draws from influences of the 1970’s particularly bands as, for example, Thin Lizzy, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd or Free have left their mark. 

In doing this, they focus less on huge riffs, but more on varied arrangements and a relaxed atmosphere. There’s no anxiety about pop music, so that most of the tracks are very catchy without compromising depth. But that doesn’t mean less rock: DEXTER JONES’ CIRCUS ORCHESTRA prove it with excellent songs such as 'Both of Us’ or 'Little Man’, whereas the last one shows clearly that this guys have learned their Thin Lizzy lesson well. Just listen to the superb twin guitar harmonies. But it’s not a cheap rip off but more a successful processing from its own influences. On the other hand, 'The Silence is far too Loud’ or 'Left to Life Abide’ reveals a great affinity for southern rock, and here too they convince me with great songwriting skills and a flawless execution. What is also striking is how harmonic everything flows together. It seems as if the chemistry within the band is fully intact and 'If Light Can’t Save Us,….’ impressively confirms that DEXTER JONES’ CIRCUS ORCHESTRA is well on the way to establishing themselves as a strong musical force. 

Here it is noticeable that the band has worked on themselves since its foundation in 2000, so that this record is a huge step forward for the band. I wonder if it may be due to guitarist Mattew Bethancourt (Josiah, Kings of Frog Island, Cherry Coke), who joined the band before the recordings, but no matter what the reason may be, for one thing is clear, and that is that this is a magnificent record. The top-notch production also ensures total listening pleasure. Despite the fact that this album is strongly influenced by the 1970’s, it sounds very modern and not a little antiquated. It is a very pleasant surprise and should appeal to fans of good music. In addition, there is also a bonus cut on the gatefold vinyl edition, which is particularly interesting for all vinyl junkies. In that sense, I strongly recommend you to buy a copy of this oustanding piece of work…

Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra music withholds hints of Swedish progressive rock combined with powerful guitar melodies and catchy drums. It stretches itself between hard driven riffs and accoustic ballads. The band has been compared to everything from Mammoth Volume and Bob Dylan to Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy. Comparisons aside: -This is probably how the 70`s would sound today. Its a true gem with endless potential! 
Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra formed in 2000 in Umeå, Sweden by Tia Marklund, David and Daniel Israelsson, Håkan Dalsfelt and Kent Jonsson. The debut record “The Losers are Back in Town" was recorded in 2003 and released by Freebird Records as a 7” vinyl. 
Work on a full length album started shortly after and the self titled debut (on Freebird Records) was released in 2004, containing 10 dynamite songs. Slowly things started to happen. DJCO was booked at Eurosonic Festival January 2005 and toured mainland Europe twice, together with the cult band Hypnos 69. The debut LP got great reviews and was even hailed ”the album of the year” by some of the leading European rock magazines. The songs could also be found on a few compilation records such as “The Ultimate fuzzcollection” (Fuzzorama Records). 
During 2006 some changes were made in the band. Kent and Håkan were replaced by Björn Billgren and Fredrik Jonsson and an already recorded EP, “Morbyn Outtakes”, was released in March, once again released by Freebird. To promote the EP, the Circus made two tours in USA. First of: the east coast, performing live, for the second time, in New York City. Moving on to the west coast, for shows in California and Arizona. After well-received shows in Hollywood, and San Francisco, they finished up the annual Stoner Hands of Doom festival in Phoenix, Arizona as the only European band. DJCO received stunning reviews for that show, back home in Sweden the buzz was growing and the band played close to 20 shows during fall 2006. 
In between tours in 2006 DJCO also managed to record a new album. Like the previous ones, the sessions took place at Ballerina Studios in Morbyn, Västerbotten, Sweden. The album “Side by Side” landed a new record deal with independent label Fuzzorama Records in January 2007. The record was released by Rough Trade august 2007 throughout Europe. Since then there has been plenty of touring around Europe playing with bands like Josiah and Hypnos69 once again. 
DJCO parted company with guitarist Bjorn Billgren in 2007 and then started recording tracks for their third full length album “If light can’t save us, I know Darkness will” boiling it down to the essence of the band, delivering an album packed with heavy, laid-back riffs, grand lyrics and DJCO´s trademark: twin guitar harmonies. 
By the time the work on this album started the band aquired a new member, namely Mathew Bethancourt (Cherry Choke, Josiah, Kings of Frog Island & The Beginning) contributing with guitar and backing vocals. It ”clicked” from the get-go! 
Dexter Jones´Circus Orchestra is now a five-piece ready for another round and eager to show what the ”Fuzz” is really all about!…

Dexter Jones’ Circus Orchestra was formed 2001 in Umeå, Sweden by Tia Marklund, David and Daniel Israelsson, Håkan Dalsfelt and Kent Jonsson. The debut record “The Losers are Back in Town” was recorded in 2003 and released by Freebird Records as a 7” vinyl. 
The album received extremely good reviews from stoner rock circles. The work with a fullength album started shortly after and the self titled debut (on Freebird Records) was presented in 2004, containing 10 dynamite songs. Slowly things started to happen. DJCO was booked at Eurosonic Festival January 2005 and toured mainland Europe twice, at times, together with the cult band Hypnos 69. The s/t got great reviews and was even titled ”the album of the year” by some of the leading European rock magazines. The songs could also be found on a few compilation records such as “The Ultimate fuzzcollection” (Fuzzorama Records). 
During 2006 some changes were made in the band. Kent and Håkan were replaced by Björn Billgren and Fredrik Jonsson and an already recorded EP, “Morbyn Outtakes”, was released in March, once again released by Freebird. To promote the EP, the Circus made two tours in USA. First of: the east coast, performing live, for the second time, in New York City. Moving on to the west coast, for shows in California and Arizona. After well-received shows in Hollywood, and San Francisco, they finished up the annual Stoner Hands of Doom festival in Phoenix, Arizona as the only European band. DJCO received stunning reviews for that show and back home in Sweden the buzz was growing and the band did close to 20 shows during fall 2006. 
In between tours in 2006 DJCO also managed to record a new album. Like the previous ones, the sessions took place at Ballerina Studios in Morbyn, Västerbotten, Sweden. The album “Side by Side” landed a new record deal with independent label Fuzzorama Records in January 2007. The record was released through Rough Trade august 2007 throughout Europe. Since then it..s been plenty of touring and 2010 is no different…

Tia Marklund - Lead Vocals, Guitar 
David Israelsson – Guitar, Vocals 
Daniel Israelsson -Drums 
Fredrik Jonsson – Bass, Vocals 
Mattew Bethancourt – Guitar, Vocals

1. If Bars Could Bend 
2. I’m a Dog But You’re a Hound 
3. The Silence Is Far Too Loud 
4. The Monster By Your Side 
5. It’s Not Safe 
6. Little man 
7. Free enterprise 
8. Both of Us 
9. Left to Life Abide 
10. Mentally insane 
11. Sad world 

Sleepy Sun “Embrace” 2008 ‎+ “Fever” 2010 +“Spine Hits” 2012 California Psych Stoner Rock

Sleepy Sun “Embrace” 2008 ‎+ “Fever” 2010 +“Spine Hits” 2012 California Psych Stoner Rock
Sleepy Sun “Embrace” 2008 

Sleepy Sun “Fever” 2010
Sleepy Sun ‎ “Spine Hits” 2012 

Sleepy Sun “Fever"2010 reviews
California band with a classic rock lean mixes British folk, stoner metal, and more into a swirling psych stew………….

2010 release from the California band from the San Francisco Peninsula where Kesey raged and the Dead were once Warlocks, and where they birthed the Sleepy sound: dead Blues shaken alive, razor sharp and ramblin’, Soul, sonic science and dead-on Pop surgery. Fever is the honey harmonies and danger wailing pulled from a tender tangle into steel-strong braid; the wing-on-wing guitars in screaming dives and sweet ascending circles; the lowdown served up tough and thundering from drum and bass authorities…………………

Embrace was the perfect title for the debut LP by California rock'n'roll six-piece Sleepy Sun. The verb felt like a mission statement for the Golden State magpies. A pan-psychedelic rock band, Sleepy Sun seemed intent on tying together the electric and acoustic ends of Led Zeppelin’s discography and wrangling its favorites– British folk, stoner metal, and classic rock among them– together with the lasso. That inclusive approach had its consequences, though, especially with equivocation. Because Sleepy Sun fit so many elements into Embrace, each piece felt a bit unadventurous and overly familiar, though the album as a whole encouraged the unexpected. 
Sleepy Sun’s second LP exaggerates the problems of its predecessor by pushing nothing too far or too hard. "Sandstorm Woman”, the 10-minute closing epic, feels like little more than the middle-aged house band at your neighborhood biker bar coming down from a set-break joint. The pensive moments come as if presaged by telegraph. The big rock outro– all sweaty frontman glossolalia, guitar spirals, harmonica howls, and stretched drum rolls– gradually slows its tempo and restrains its roar, resolving into a tidy, diminished coda. Unlike Earthless, Sleep, or any of the dozens of bands who have taken such moments to hell and the moon, Sleepy Sun bring it back to Earth and let it rest. It’s the refusal to get too crazy, and it’s boring. Many of these nine tracks suffer from the same half-there approach. The acoustic tunes stacked early do little but drift daintily. “Open Eyes” starts as a promising mix of clipped meters and refracted vocals. Ultimately, though, it heads for the same electric rock peaks that Black Mountain conquered on 2008’s In the Future (see that band’s “Tyrants”). Sleepy Sun fall well short. 

Such circumscription isn’t Fever’s only problem, though it is the most vexing. Thing is, you’ve probably heard all of this before, via Zeppelin, Mountain, Sabbath, Pentangle, or any of the thousands of bands that have cited those acts as influences. Sleepy Sun’s psychedelic rock is of a cut-and-paste variety, where a few decades of platitudes are snipped from their sources and simply rearranged. There’s a fat-bottomed drum breakdown attached to a harmonica solo on “Desert God”, and a fascination with stop-time and slow-burn maneuvers dominates “Wild Machines”. “Marina” gets the mid-song auxiliary percussion and tribal chanting, while “Freedom Line” sports the meditative vocal intro. OK, dudes, we get it– you like LPs, too. 

All that said, Fever is beyond capably played and produced. Bret Constantino and Rachel Fannan offer adaptable voices, as fit for the thunder-on-the-mountain dramatics of “Open Eyes” as they are the across-a-bedroom intimacy of “Ooh Boy”. Guitarists Matt Holliman and Even Reiss sound ready for most anything, too, whether it’s the meticulous distortion and electric swells throughout “Acid Love” or the lithe, intertwining acoustic guitars during “Rigamaroo”. The bass maw and stuttering drums of “Freedom Line” twist and shift, and producer Stewart affords enough sonic presence-and-pop to make it seem as though the band is practicing across the hall. And that’s what makes Fever so frustrating. Sleepy Sun have learned the methods and studied the maps, but– at least on record– they’ve yet to take that knowledge into territory that feels new or, really, like it’s their own… Grayson Currin…………….
Sleepy Sun make records for a generation who watch movies like Easy Rider and get just a little jealous that they can’t ride a motorcycle full of drugs across the west, even if it doesn’t end so well. Their material lends itself to long, hazy, psychedelic romps that go best with lava lamps and black light posters. Their name says it all, too. It takes you back to a time when rock wasn’t afraid to be “out there.” Now returning for seconds, Fever continues on with the acid drenched psychedelia, this time bringing a cleaner sound, and a furthering the group’s identity as a new band playing on old ties. In a decade that feels like it’s heard it all, why not go back to the Haight-Ashbury days for a little rock ‘n’ roll relief. 
Other than a sharper image, not too much separates Fever from Sleepy Sun’s 2009 debut, Embrace. The new record is just as ambitious as it is old school with songs that aren’t afraid to go for the gut and leave your ears ringing. Think of the frame of Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused”, slow building and turning until guitarist Jimmy Page slaps you awake with his six-string. In the same vein, Fever also demands to be turned up from the get-go with opener “Marina” diving into the sultry slow waves of late 60’s blues-rock. Dreamy yet steamy and on fire, it’s one hell of an introduction to the heady sounds and sparkling harmonies that fill the album to the brim. 
A rock record for jam heads, and a jam record for rockers, the album is a sexy acid romp that doesn’t want you leaving in your right mind. The songs move from quiet and slow, to loud and scorching with high solos, sonic mind benders, and steady distorted bass work leading the way. Not much stays the same during a song as it works you through the trip they seem to be striving for. “Wild Machines” has the guitars chugging and crying out for a heated six-minute jam before calming back into the verse. The feedback heavy “Acid Love” trails off into a void of static before leading into the bohemian guitar lines of the aptly titled “Desert God”. You can almost picture the rolling sand dunes in the beginning of the song before it launches into the guitar and harmonica break down that takes over from there. 
While a few of the new songs may carry a folksier feel, there’s a definite consistency with this band that’s easily picked up on after a few listens. The Graham Parsons-inspired acoustics of “Rigamaroo”, which has their female member taking on more of the lead vocals, strip down the percussion for an earthier feel. The dynamic between the vocalists provides great chemistry and works well to step up the sound over all. Mostly though the tracks are murky stoner jams like “Open Eyes” keeping you dazed the whole time. 

Being the band that they are, building lengthy tracks seems to come second nature. Album closer “Sandstone Woman” is a nine-minute blues rock opus that throws together the bands key attributes and spits out what could be their best song yet. It starts with a slow bass line and echoing guitar strums, and eventually builds with dueling wa-wa guitars into more of the wall of sound blues-rock they love. It’s just another of the many six-minute plus tracks that never lag and always excite. 

Sleepy Sun are on their way to making a name for themselves as one of the top acts in a new wave of psychedelic bands. They do a good job sticking to the tried and true methods of the Woodstock era psych-rock, but you can’t help but wonder if there’s more to them than this. Fever is over flowing with talent, but it’s hard at times to find who the band is amongst a style of music that’s already been proven for over 40 years. While 1969 sure sounded great, it would be nice to hear a little more of them, rather than their influences. That being said, you still can’t deny the music along the way….BY ALEX YOUNG…………….

‘Fever’ is an album of absolute beauty, a chaotic blend of grungy maniacal freak-outs contrasting perfectly with the blissful folk-like serenity captured on songs like ‘Acid Love’. The band’s unique bluesy psych sound dominates much of the record - they do it so well it would be foolish for them not to utilise their talents. 
Although the album is full of brilliance, album opener ‘Marina’ stands headstrong above the others in terms of scope and grandeur, a dirty distorted guitar solo coupled with an African style instrumental and tribal chorusing sees ‘Fever’ go from commendable to a masterpiece. ….by Kevin Angel………………

What if The Sword had a baby with Fleet Foxes? Seems like an odd question to ask, but it’s quite easy to answer if you give a listen to Sleepy Sun. It isn’t certain if the spawn would be a boy running through the forest, getting muddy while listening to Black Sabbath, or a girl making tea and reading books about love, but what is certain is that the offspring would provide plenty of harmonies, earthy-raw textures, and the occasional psychedelic freak-out. Sleepy Sun is no baby band though, having played at SXSW in 2010 and filling the opening spot for the Arctic Monkeys during their April tour.While Fever can feature acoustic guitars with hand drums in one passage and thick distortion over heavy beats in another, the styles mesh together perfectly. The album can appeal to the longhaired rocker and the flower child (stoned or un-stoned). Another person who could bring these two diverse styles together harmoniously was Hendrix, and “Marina” opens with a slight tribute to the guitar god by teasing with what sounds like his version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” The guitar itself sounds like it is on fire as the drums come smashing in, bursting the flames into explosions. 
From the sweltering flames to the floating clouds, Bret Constantino and Rachel Williams leave you feeling weightless and free with their beautiful boy/girl harmonies. “Rigamaroo” is a prime example of the sweet-sounding vocals that are charming yet threatening at the same time. “Wild Machines” stings with scary, dark squeals of the guitar, and “Desert God” goes Southern rock by way of the gritty harmonica and strong backbeat. Both soulful and tenacious, “Freedom Line” has a beat that would make Danger Mouse proud.
Sleepy Sun may hail from San Francisco, but they sound like they could’ve come from Seattle or New Orleans. Fever contains the contrasting sounds of razor sharp rock, dead pop blues, and psychedelic soul. The album can be compared to a stroll through the wilderness. It can be a pleasant time out in nature, as long as you don’t run into any bears, poisonous leaves, or fast rapids, so have a safe journey as you delve into the forest that is Sleepy Sun….by…..Jason Levi………

For all of its hazy decadence, Sleepy Sun’s debut, Embrace, was an album rippling with disarming vocal duets and quaking guitars so in sync, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were twinned. 
But when any song breaking the five-minute barrier is liable to be labelled “progressive” or “stoner rock” by a simple virtue of time and guitars beyond the requisite three chords, shedding the tags is always going to be difficult. 
It won’t come as a surprise, then, that the band’s second album, Fever, has built on the immense, psychedelic promise of its predecessor and delivers with an equally panoramic somnolence. Inspired by the undulating hills of Sierra Gold Country and the sunshine climes of California, it’s an album draped in a languid, rolling spirituality that’s as prone to weave and wander as it’s capable of splitting the sky in two with an amplified thunder crack. 
Dispensing with some of the fug that characterised Embrace, opener Marina crystallises the album’s dynamism and diversity from the outset. Soupy riffs, Rachel Williams’ ethereal, lingering vocal and a tribal breakdown to make Paul Simon smile don’t so much as ease you in but drop you into the vivacity of a late night campfire in the bowels of the Sierra Valley. And, once again, Bret Constantino and Williams’ sumptuous duets are a constant delight, snaking and intertwining along honeyed guitar work on Rigamaroo and delicately ducking the discordance on the more volatile Wild Machines. 
The majority of tracks still lumber and lurch with freak-out guitar zeal but there’s a noticeable balance as Open Eyes sweeps and soars in all the right places and the writhing, black stupor of Sandstorm displays everything that makes Black Mountain so mesmerising. 
Sleepy Sun aren’t above dispelling the perceptions of over indulgence, and they may always be tarred thus, but Fever at least proves there’s a renewed clarity to go with the lozenge-smooth lethargy, even if it isn’t totally clearheaded……Reef Younis …BBC review……………..

Californian six-piece Sleepy Sun are a product of their home state: all sunshine through a smoggy haze, their sound is one that reflects the Golden State’s geographical and historical tapestries, rich with contrasts, “dead blues shaken alive, razor sharp and ramblin'”; a synopsis tempting enough, surely, to whet even the most reluctant of appetites. 
Fever arrives almost exactly a year after its debut predecessor Embrace – an album “crammed with ideas, influences, and phenomenal musicianship” – and is promised to be the palace at the end of Embrace’s delicately cultivated path. So does the expectancy spoil the party? Perish the thought. 
While quickly establishing an ether of positive vibes, smoky imagery and fleet-fingered acts of bravery across the fret board, nine-track Fever proudly defies any stoner rock pigeonholing cast its way. First track Marina toys with an indulgent solo and resonating chords, but trades mainly on its timeless male-female harmonies and gorgeous gentle passages. Topped off with a tribal drumming section, it’s a heady, intoxicating and eclectic opening salvo. 
And from there the album simply continues to unveil its virtues: Rigamaroo, a Wild West-evoking acoustic journey, sounds like the kind of enduring mini-masterpieces put together by Fleetwood Mac before they embraced years-long post-production processes; Wild Machines’ six minutes pass swiftly, its Band Of Horses-style tempo tampering and haunting, reverberating refrains warmly welcomed and quickly missed. 
Fever then relocates to California’s tranquil retreats for a spell as Ooh Boy sets aside blues for folk in the most disarming and delicate way, its unplugged, unhurried tenderness further amplified by the droning, peaceful and lingering subsequent track Acid Love. 
Not that such a sun-blushed approach marks the arrival of a second half that invites the listener to doze: Desert God, emerging from a timid, hungover progression, fulfils aforementioned promises to shake alive dead blues, its crashing, evocative soundscape lurching like an early-era Beck number and enriched considerably by lead singer Bret Constantino’s raw timbre. 
Open Eyes, similarly, displays respectful deference to the principles of blues while still managing to kick them into something indefinably contemporary, the Constantino-Williams harmonies reminiscent of the dark romance so criminally overlooked on Fleeingnewyork‘s A OK album of some years past. 
Into the album’s coda, glories continue: Freedom Line machine gun drumming and reined-in bass line collapse terrifically into punishing, pulsating power chords before ten-minute opus Sandstorm Woman brings the entire affair to a brooding, simmering close, blooming patiently from low-light blues to floodlit post-rock. 
Fever’s nine tracks carry weight, rendering it an album appropriate for a band whose considerable abilities are coloured by a blues movement that stretches decades into the dusty past: Sleepy Sun treat blues the way Fleet Foxes handle traditional folk, and that can mean only one thing – an absolutely absorbing listening experience. …… David Welsh ……………..

OPENING an album with a track that sounds more like it should be a centrepiece is already par for the course for San Franciscan psych prog-rockers Sleepy Sun. The sextet did it on their debut album of last year, Embrace, with seven-minute opener New Age and on their second release, Fever, they again make it clear from the outset that they like to think big. 
Opening six-minute song Marina weaves distorted guitar lines through dreamy, cavernous verses, impassioned vocal harmonies and primal drum breakdowns. At times Sleepy Sun recalls the melodic, searing power of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish album as they move from the more aggressive and fuzzy-edged soundscapes of Embrace, which probably had more in common with Monster Magnet. 
On songs such as the percussionless drone of Acid Love and the sleepy Desert God, the whiff of patchouli, or something stronger, is never too far away. The nine-minute closer, Sandstorm Woman, travels a predictable path from a quiet intro to a clamorous wig-out finale, but otherwise Fever shows an expanded palette from Embrace. A fair bet they’d be a mind-blowing live band….by…JO ROBERTS…………………

I hardly had time to finish whistling the last notes of White Dove, the Sleepy Sun are already coming back with a new album called Fever. Hmmmm! Just the title makes me shudder. Not satisfied with shamanic impulses and quechua vapors emanating from their previous single, it was only natural that I would throw myself on this candy that hurts the head the next day. So for those who do not know them, Sleepy Sun is part of what we will call the neo-psychedelic wave. Finally this is only a term chosen by one of us scribouillards, cataloging as such each group giving a little too much reverb ‘or having fun a little too long on its effects pedals. Yet, although a meager degree of filiation with contemporary artists such as The Black Angels or Black Mountain is not excluded, this second album proves that our six little Californian coyotes were not raised for anything in the Mecca of the psyche music. There is a bit of Love and Jefferson Airplaine flowing in their vein. 
From the opening of Marina, the sextet lays the foundations of his album. A big distortion launches the festivities, some notes pushed in the saturation, then comes the hype of battery, as dry as measured. The tempo slows down and our two singers blow their sweet voices on what turns out to be one of the most beautiful folk melodies heard this year. But our little Indians are racing and raising the pace. Tribal rhythm and rain dance, the voices of Bret Constantino and Rachel Fannan intersect around a final heroic verse that will end as it began. This recipe will gradually become the trademark of the band throughout the album and Wild Machines is another perfect example. We also note this remarkable desire to stand out, never to reissue a similar piece in either the narrative or the harmonic structure. And at this game, the Sleepy Sun are proving to be strong. Rigamaroo looks like one of those old folk rhymes that would be humming around a fire, lost in the barren wastelands of the Valley of Death while Desert God will send the listener as much to the psyche rock of The 13th Floors Elevators as the stoner of Kyuss. Where White Dove had made an impression on Embrace, Open eyes should do the same on this decidedly brilliant Fever. Cornerstone stigmatizing all the know-how of our young revelation, this piece built in the Russian mountains hypnotizes and captive by its construction in trap, its falsely calm dressing, its vocoded voice … A cunning track in which would sink even the bolder cowboys. And if Freedom Line is not surprising, reusing a recipe prowl throughout the album, the melodic pattern continues to work wonderfully thanks to an incredible bass / drumming. 
Fever closes on the huge Sandstorm Woman, a huge piece of psy-folk that raises a tough question: “Are the Sleepy Sun heads? ”. A hint of jealousy can not be contained after listening to this second effort. It took less than a year for the juvenile Californian band to assert itself as the very reference of a movement to follow. More than just a copy, Sleepy Sun imposes a unique sound, a foolproof relaxation and a sense of melody that has nothing to envy to his peers. Another record that should tape your turntables this year… Akitrash………….

Marina 6:21 
Rigamaroo 3:23 
Wild Machines 6:03 
Ooh Boy 2:05 
Acid Love 2:41 
Desert God 5:16 
Open Eyes 3:37 
Freedom Line 3:01 
Sandstorm Woman 9:50 

Sleepy Sun ‎ “Spine Hits” 2012 reviews

The band of brothers known far and wide as Sleepy Sun don t sit still for long. Sleepy Sun s miles, months, and days in the van are a tangible presence in Spine Hits, an LP of whimsy, restlessness and urgency that leaps nimbly from landscape to landscape with ease, irreverence and a catch-em-before-they-aint-changeling nature. Spine Hits isn t a portrait of a band in a moment. It s a box of snapshots spilled on the floor and blowing in the wind….left behind by a band that can t stop moving, but remembers what they left behind in a thousand colors………………

If you listened to the previous two Sleepy Sun albums, you will notice a major change on their third, Spine Hits. The band is missing a member: singer Rachel Fannan. Strangely, the band barely mentions her departure, calling her a “backup singer” when she left, and referring to themselves now quite contentedly as a “band of brothers”. However, a little research uncovers the fact that Fannan exited the band under uneasy yet vague circumstances. Though Fannan did take less than half of the main vocal duties, her absence is felt, most clearly in the harmonies with the remaining singer, Bret Constantino (who now, it seems, harmonizes with himself, without competition). 

With the male and female vocals, Sleepy Sun shared the model of fellow “stoners” Black Mountain without incorporating that band’s prog elements. What was most interesting in this double lead was the way Constantino and Fannan blended their voices together, in a sort of dual androgyny. They sounded like one another—and they could actually sing. But beyond that there is a lack of identity. Constantino has a soulful scratchy voice, which, fitted in the context of hippy stomp and boogie, might call to mind ‘90s precursors like Shannon Hoon or Chris Robinson. His voice, however, is a bit lighter, without as much personality: even when his voice isn’t backed up with harmonies, there’s a childlike aspect. Something in his tone gives his voice a kind of baby-talk, a young sound that cuts out the possible heft in his range. 

Musically, the band stays well within the range of ‘60s and ‘70s guitar rock and psychedelic folk, stuck in the major downfall of most bands that get labeled “stoner,” a lack of changeup. The first two albums, Embrace and Fever, sound like versions of each other. In other words, the band had a formula, basically two different types of songs. The heavy and ponderous stomper and the folky acoustic-based sing-song. Somehow, no song quite stands out, though overall the albums still deliver a pleasant feeling. They paint you a stoner landscape that is flat, nothing that perks your head up. 

In line with slimming down in its membership, Sleepy Sun creates a sleeker sound on Spine Hits as if it is trying to professionalize itself. It’s not a drastic change; you will still recognize the hazy Californian psychedelia that mixes heavy and soft for a perfect stoner blend. The opener, “Stivey Pond,” could begin the other albums, except that it is half as long as a typical track. For this album, they’ve added a new element to their writing process, a third type of song. On tracks like “She Rex” and “V.O.G.”, the band goes right for hooks, leading off with guitar riffs that hearken back to the ‘90s revamp of the wah-wah. Perhaps after touring with the Arctic Monkeys following their last album, the band learned some cues from Britpop. Their hippie lyrics and Led Zeppelin worship call to mind Second Coming-era Stone Roses. See for example, “Martyr’s Mantra,” which loops a guitar riff into what seems like a perpetual buildup that finally plateaus alongside the dreamy vocals. This leveling out is the problem. In cutting out the fat, the band may have also lost some of its flavor. 

The songs on Spine Hits are tighter - clearly the mark of a band that has toured endlessly and has become sure of what it can do and where the right punches go in a song. Each track is like a puzzle that fits together the same pieces, the perfect dropout that solos an instrument or vocals, the slow tempo breakdown, the vigorous buildup, the succinct yet expansive guitar lead, the bass turnaround to set up a “jam” moment. But this clockwork element to the album ends up, like the previous albums, compressing all the songs into one level. Though the band masters texturing its songs, it still works within a clearly limited range, which is never too simple but also not too provocative. The major upshot to this method is that the album rewards repeat listens - certain moments begin to stick out, like the ecstatic end refrain on “Siouxsie Blaqq” that finally crowns a laid-back acoustic number with a meaningful sounding electric, noisy tension and release. 

On the previous albums, Sleepy Sun alternated their closers. Embrace had a quiet and cute acoustic track; Fever featured a long rocker. As if to go with the professional feeling of Spine Hits, the album’s last song, “Lioness (Requiem)” creates an expectation of something bit, but never quite delivers. In the beginning, a feeling of drama occurs in what almost is a modulation; a military drumbeat adds a purposeful feeling. But the band finally sound battle weary, like they’ve climbed a peak and now want to rest in a quiet valley. The haze has taken over. And perhaps that’s why the album presents itself as “hits”—not bong hits, though that’s possible; but rather giving the sense of a posthumous collection……..BY SCOTT BRANSON…Pop Matters…………….

On their first album without vocal duties from Rachel Fannan, 'Spine Hits’ finds Sleepy Sun mining slightly more accessible terrain than their previous two offerings. While still capable of blowing minds, they’re now doing it with actual riffs and hooks, hooks that may even be considered “catchy,” as opposed to the more droning, atmospheric noodling of this album’s predecessors. At first, I was a little let down by this development, but after another couple listens the true beauty of this album shone through. 

Bret Constantino now handles full vocal duties, and he proves more than up to the challenge, although Fannan’s voice is still missed at times. His voice actually carries certain songs, such as the intimate, acoustic lullabye “Still Breathing,” with some nice, lulling harmonica thrown in for good measure. The songwriting on 'Spine Hits’ is more tightly focused overall, as evidenced by the excellent “Boat Trip,” which has an almost chamber-folk feel that’s somewhat reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, in a good way. 

While the band, for the most part, have maintained the low, crunching guitars and dreaminess factor, nearly every song here has any and all excess fat trimmed out. Only two songs approach or surpass the 5-minute mark, as the instrumental sections of the songs are there to serve the song, not just serve as a launching pad for some ethereal, spaced-out jam, although thankfully there are still some. It’s just that now they’re 30-45 seconds long as opposed to the 2-3 minutes of epic jamming heard on much of 'Embrace’ and 'Fever.’ There are a couple of instances when it seems like the band is about to take off into the stratosphere, as on the strong psych rave-up “Creature,” only to have the song slowly fade out just as they’re getting off the ground. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go see them live if I want to see these songs stretched out. 

All in all, 'Spine Hits’ shows Sleepy Sun transforming into a more song-oriented band, and while I may pine for the droning, hypnotic sound and face-melting guitar solos of yesteryear, this progression may be prove to be a good thing in the long run, if it results in more focused songwriting. Focused songwriting is probably not really why most got into this band in the first place, but I, for one, think that they are just hitting their stride as songwriters and musicians, and I can’t wait to see where it leads them in the coming years….By Jack Tripper………….

The first time I saw West Coast rockers Sleepy Sun live, they had a costumed wizard onstage, possessing the presence of a traveling caravan of desert minstrels, as Bret Constantino and Rachel Fannan exchanged sun-tinged vocals like flying doves. On tour this spring to promote their third LP, the group’s leaner line-up echoes the new, straightforward sound they favor on Spine Hits, the change being both a welcome release of weight and an unfortunate loss. 
Now, blues-rock opulence is swapped for brevity, as Spine Hits features shorter and consequently more songs than its two predecessors. Gone are the acid-drenched epics like “White Dove” and “Sandstorm Woman” that Sleepy Sun excelled at amongst their peers, and the longest track here, the fuzzy, upbeat “Martyr’s Mantra”, is more akin to the steady, guitar-filled dance-rock than the multi-movement, dynamic constructions on Fever and Embrace. Several songs toward the beginning, such as “She Rex”, feature steady rhythm from Brian Tice and Jack Allen and spicy chords and riffs from Evan Reiss and Matt Holliman, but they fly by quicker than before. There are plenty of gems to be found in Sleepy Sun’s new groove, though. Wistful, laid-back twangs are found in “Boat Trip” similarly to “Golden Artifact”, but the band depends less on lengthy Spaghetti Western motifs of old and more on folksy progressions and quaint cadences. 
Without one of the band’s founding members, you get the sense that Constantino’s singular vision for Sleepy Sun is still finding its way. His solid lyrics dealing the elusiveness of romance and reality command the same attention they always have, but now Constantino’s role of lone singer brings his voice to the forefront, sounding less effected and less distant. Spine Hits works best when Sleepy Sun takes familiar essentials and rock out in slimmed-down fashion, as faint, high-range backing voices and changing tempos are found on the concise, stinging tracks “Creature” and lead single “V.O.G.”. The lack of guitar solos and harmonica wails, however, is noticeable. 
Perhaps it’s a stepping-stone to a bolder sound, but Spine Hits is still a great collection of rock songs, and while there’s a grain or two of filler, itdelivers in immediacy and replay value. It comes down to whether you were wishing they’d get to the point during their previous spacey, psychedelic passages, or whether you’ll give a band looking to trim down a chance………..BY DAVID DILILLO……….

Spine Hits is the third album from San Francisco psychedelic warriors Sleepy Sun, and their first following powerful co-vocalist Rachel Fannan’s departure from the band. Fannan’s absence is notable, but not to the degree where the band sounds like a completely different act altogether. They’re still dealing in the same drony acid rock and textural guitar tone tapestries that defined their earlier material, owing much to the pioneers of '60s San Fran psychedelia. Singer Brett Constantino steps up to handle full vocal duties swimmingly, with a style that floats between hallucinatory echoes and a primal growl. The primary issue with Spine Hits isn’t the band’s loss of a charismatic member or a radical shift in the formula, it’s that the record drifts and meanders til it becomes a dull, colorless blend. On their debut album, Embrace, Sleepy Sun tempered all-out stoner rock jams with carefully placed quieter numbers, pacing out their heaviness in a metered way that made the album much more digestible and interesting. That practice is intact here, but the songs don’t work as well together. Awkward album opener “Stivey Pond” oozes out in crunchy strands of guitar and Constantino’s raw, husky vocals, the song coming off like an odd Jane’s Addiction B-side. The subtle influence of early-'90s indie psyche bands like the Verve, Slowdive, and even the most mantra-esque of the early Smashing Pumpkins recordings lends a sense of melody to the band’s Sabbath-worshiping riffery. Even as Sleepy Sun regulate their noise, the dynamics feel flat. Interspersing softly trippy songs like “Siouxsie Blaqq” with effect pedal-saturated jam sessions like “Martyr’s Mantra” still doesn’t help either approach stand out. “Boat Trip” is the album’s strongest moment, a gently treading meeting of spacy Fleet Foxes-style harmonies and buried aquatic melodies cribbed from post-SMiLE-era Brian Wilson mania. This unassuming track makes just enough space for the underwhelming muscle of guitar-centric “V.O.G.” and “Deep War.” The band camped out in the California desert and laid down these songs with producer Dave Catching, formerly of Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal. Perhaps it’s Catching’s influence that gives Spine Hits its hard rock edge, or maybe the effects of sunstroke add to the bleached-out quality of the songs. Somewhere in between the guitar wizardry and contained micro freakouts, Spine Hits becomes increasingly difficult to pay attention to, and the number of memorable moments falls off, making the album as unfulfilling as a cheap contact high… Fred Thomas………….

Hailing from San Francisco, Sleepy Sun is set to release the third LP of their career, Spine Hits. An extremely well produced and executed endeavor recorded in California this past December with Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Deathmetals’ Dave Catching. This latest offering is extraordinary in scope and has turned out to be a spectacular showcase of their collaborative skills and efforts. 

‘Stivey Pond’ is a perfect intro to this album – immediately and unabashedly plunging the listener headfirst into the torrid psychedelic landscape. The song opens with deceptively subtle acoustics, and then charges headfirst into gritty bass and bluesy guitar riffs ingeniously spaced throughout. It blends seamlessly with dreamy interludes that skillfully mirror the brooding nature of the lyrics. 

Next comes the whimsical and upbeat ‘She Rex’ with its upbeat rhythm and punchy guitar licks. ‘She Rex’ features hauntingly beautiful harmonies and lovelorn lyrics delivered with a sincerity that is quite touching and effective. 

‘Siouxie Blaqq’ immediately reminded me both of 1967’s The Velvet Underground, Nico and early Jane’s Addiction. It’s a dreamy jaunt which allows listeners to drift away on a cloud of lovingly crafted psychedelia followed by the raucous guitar styling’s of ‘Creature’. 

‘Creature’ doesn’t stray far from that heady feeling as the band expertly guides their audience on a really good trip. It let’s the ‘grooviness’ of the chorus lift our spirits and finally exits with a good old head-banging guitar solo. 

Not detracting from that singular experience, ‘Boat Trip’ gently rolls in like a breezy sun-filled day on the grassy prairie – the rippling waves not unlike those on the briny. The easy and cheerful guitar melodies along with the delightful acoustic picking and strumming evokes bygone days of youthful summers and is a very pleasant excursion all around. 

Next up, ‘V.O.G.’ showcases Sleepy Sun’s uncanny ability to mix blues with a psychedelic 60’s feel a la Led Zeppelin whom they have been compared to on their first two albums, Embrace and Fever. 

‘Martyr’s Mantra’ is a soulful lament with poignant lyrics and a catchy chorus with a really kick-ass drum solo amidst a gritty and robust base line that is consistent with the somber tone of the song. It has more of a pop rock flavor about it and reminded me a little of Jesus and The Mary Chain. 

Impressive really doesn’t begin to describe the complex rhythms of drummer Brian Tice and Jack Allen’s explosive and raw bass lines. Together they form the solid structure underlying ‘Spine Hits’, with its dynamic and far-reaching guitars played by Matt Hollimen and Evan Reiss. Vocalist Brett Constantino, whose clarity and tone is subtle one minute and the next is raspy and powerful, skillfully conveys the mood of each and every segment of every song. 

‘Still Breathing’ has a spellbinding intro that eventually leads to some gentle acoustic strums. The forlorn harmonica solo seems to pull at the heartstrings and encapsulates the mood of the song. 

Haunting and undeniably a highlight of this LP, ‘Yellow End’ is uplifting and a real tribute to rock ballads of old. I was really drawn to the melody and tone of this song. It is both beautiful and genuine and the chorus is absolutely magical. 

‘Deep War’ showcases everyone’s talent and all the best that Sleepy Sun has to offer with it’s commanding bass, brilliant guitar solos, tight percussion, keen lyrics, richly textured vocals and a catchy chorus. 

Rounding out the album is the highly refined and darkly colored anthem ‘Lioness (Requiem)’ with its spellbinding melody, complex layering, cleverly inventive drumming and evocative lyrics. This track erupts into an intense guitar solo that wraps up the last minute of the song and the new LP. 

Spine Hits has taken Sleepy Sun to new heights. It is savvy and sharp, sentimental and poignant, innovative and intricate. Existing fans will feel compelled to grow with them and they will most certainly expand their audience with this amazingly astute effort….by JENNIFER WOTZKE…………

1 Stivey Pond 2:52 
2 She Rex 3:55 
3 Siouxie Blaqq 4:35 
4 Creature 3:16 
5 Boat Trip 3:50 
6 V.O.G. 4:14 
7 Martyr’s Mantra 6:05 
8 Still Breathing 5:02 
9 Yellow End 3:46 
10 Deep War 3:35 
11 Lioness (Requiem) 4:44 

Sleepy Sun ‎ “Embrace” 2008 debut album reviews

“Trained in Santa Cruz and now based in San Francisco, this is Sleepy Sun’s first album, 'Embrace’, recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia, in January 2008. The album features a West Coast psyche soundtrack. drums), Jack Allen (bass), Rachael Williams (vocals,) Bret Constantino (vocals & harmonica), Evan Reiss (guitars) and Matt Holliman (guitars), grouped around common interests such as ”“ the pizza, the horticulture and Neil Percival Young ”“ and drawing their musical inspirations from Black Sabbath to Creedence Clearwater Revival. ”……………….

It’s only fitting that bluesy psych wanderers Sleepy Sun are based in San Francisco. Even if many of their most immediate inspirations aren’t from the City by the Bay, the fragile, folky moments and acid rock bluster on their debut album, Embrace, embody the vibe associated with San Francisco since the '60s. It also makes perfect sense that Embrace, which the band self-released in 2008, was picked up for wider distribution by ATP, the boutique label of the experimental music festival All Tomorrow’s Parties. The imprint is also home to Bardo Pond, to whom Sleepy Sun bear a striking resemblance, especially on “Sleepy Son,” where bubbling wah-wah guitars, interstellar guitar feedback, and harmonicas surround Rachael Williams’ hypnotically sexy vocals. Yet Sleepy Sun never feel overly indebted to any of their influences, and over the course of Embrace, they carve out their own niche within the realm of trippy, expansive music. The bold opening track, “New Age,” moves from lumbering fuzz bass and hazy harmonies to furious instrumental passages that are just as gripping as the parts with vocals; while it’s all free-flowing and organic, Sleepy Sun have a slightly more structured approach than some of their contemporaries, and an instinctive feel for when to unleash their lysergic onslaughts and when to pull back and concentrate on melodies instead. There’s a good mix of fire and serenity throughout Embrace, from the way “Snow Goddess” builds from a slinky groove to an ecstatic crescendo, to the way “Lord”’s warm piano balladry and “Red/Black”’s smoldering blues lament complement each other perfectly. Sleepy Sun’s balancing instincts could make Embrace feel a little safe if the album wasn’t so wide-ranging: along with the expected acid-tinged excursions, the band also delves into witchy mysticism on the excellent “Golden Artifact” and closes with the sweet, simple “Duet with the Northern Sky,” which shows off Bret Constantino and Williams’ vocals at their finest. At times, Embrace can get a little too droning and repetitive, but it’s a confident and promising debut….. by Heather Phares………………….

Embrace is the debut album by Californian sextet Sleepy Sun. From the outset their heavy brand of stoner rock reminds me of Canadian band Black Mountain, thanks to the mix of slightly lethargic male and female vocals. They don’t rely on keyboards the way Black Mountain do but the fuzzed-out guitars, tribal drums and heavy bass are all present. Sleepy Sun’s own West Coast roots are also evident especially on the more laid-back and acoustic songs like the '60s-inspired GOLDEN ARTIFACT, while the alt-country piano ballad LORD sounds like Ryan Adams (which is just fine by me). There’s an obvious religious message in this song with lyrics about finding the saviour, and similar themes run through the album as on the epic WHITE DOVE. 
Highlights include the atmospheric slow-blues of SLEEPY SON that includes some fine amplified harmonica, and the psychedelic, murky NEW AGE that opens the album. There’s not a great deal of melodic interest in some of the lengthy distorted guitar grunge jams, but I guess that’s not the point of these pieces. Tarcisio just beat me to the first review of this album, and that review summarizes Embrace very well. For me it’s somewhere between 2 and 3 stars; it gets better with repeat plays so I’ll be generous and give it 3 stars… seventhsojourn …………….

With the self-release of their album Embrace in 2008, Sleepy Sun introduced a folksy garage blend of psychedelic rock. The group of six from Santa Cruz, California formed under the name Sleepy Sun in 2007 from members of Mania and Birds Fled From Me. The original band included co-vocalists Bret Constantino and Rachel Fannan, guitarists Matt Holliman and Evan Reiss, bassist Jack Allen, and drummer Hubert Guy. Shortly after they released their debut album, Hubert Guy left the group and was replaced by Brian Tice. ATP Recordings produced the re-release of their debut Embrace with new drummer Brian Tice in 2009. Full of entrancing melody laid against distorted guitars, Sleepy Sun has produced four albums with ATP Recordings. In 2010 co-vocalist Rachel Fannan left the band after their second album, Fever. Sleepy Sun’s third album, Spine Hits, came out in 2012 without Rachel Fannan’s vocals. Bret Constantino, Matt Holliman, Evan Reiss, Jack Allen, and Brian Tice continued to make their brand of psychedelia and released their fourth album, Maui Tears, in 2014………………

Line-up / Musicians 
- Rachel Fannan / voices 
- Bret Constantino / voices 
- Matt Holliman / guitar 
- Evan Reiss / guitar 
- Hubert Guy / bass 
- Brian Tice / drums

New Age 7:25 
Lord 5:39 
Red/Black 2:11 
Sleepy Son 7:24 
Golden Artifact 3:42 
White Dove 9:23 
Snow Goddess 5:38 
Duet With The Northern Sky 2:58 


Embrace (ATP Recordings, June 16, 2009) 
Fever (ATP Recordings, June 1, 2010) 
Spine Hits (ATP Recordings, April 10, 2012) 
Maui Tears (Dine Alone Records, January 28, 2014) 

White Dove 7" (Sol Diamond, November 2008) 
New Age 10" (ATP Recordings, March 2009) 
Sleepy Son 10" (ATP Recordings, August 2009) 
Open Eyes Digital EP (ATP Recordings, April 2010) 
Marina 10" (ATP Recordings, September 2010) 
Wild Machines Digital Single (ATP Recordings, November 2010) 


johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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