REVIEW: Sleepy Sun – “Spine Hits”

[Apr. 10th 2012 – ATP Recordings // Find it at: iTunes | Insound]


When a little piece of your heart floats off into the middle nowhere, you have two choices: you either sink into the unknown, hoping to find light, or you make your own escape. San Fran’s Sleepy Sun like Option B a lot. Spine Hits, their third record in as many years, continues to stand by the band’s ethereal, spaced out rock regime – picture Led Zeppelin’s lighter moments being pounded by the sunshine improv groove of the Grateful Dead – but does it in tighter, bass-heavy sessions. The variety is a mixed bag with the album never really letting go into an abyss of classic rock noise, but the arrangements on Spine Hits justify Sleepy Sun’s skill as a five-piece. It’s visual and grand, with exquisite collective musicianship hooked on hypnotic psychedelia (“Deep War”, “Sioxsie Blaqq”), pulsating shred outbursts (“Creature”, “Lioness (Requiem”) and intricacy underscoring folk numbers (“Boat Trip”), which carefully brings out Bret Constantino’s voice, preventing it from dripping into an ordinary monotonous tone. It’s hard to recreate anthems of the sun, surrealistic pillows and anything else that signifies retrospective alt blues, but the fivesome find a way to capture it and it’s impending nostalgia.

Download: “Creature”, “She Rex”, “Lioness (Requiem)”

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