Ken Leighton 5 p.m., Jan. 24
Red Dissolving Rays of Light
- Artist: The Loons
- Album released in 2010
- Bomp Records
- CD Review (June 16, 2010)
The third album by critically acclaimed San Diego garage rockers featuring ex-members of the TELL-TALE HEARTS (the infamous Mike Stax of Ugly Things) and the DIABOLIKS (Anja Stax). The album features all new material in the band's distinctively original style, which combines the hard, kinetic drive of European Freakbeat, the melodic cool of the '66 Sunset Strip, and intense, atmospheric Psychedelia. Features special guest appearance by legendary psychedelic steel guitarist GLENN ROSS CAMPBELL of the sixties band the MISUNDERSTOOD.
Opening with a ’60s-style R&B stomper, “Between Grey Slates,” they take us on a trip to the terraced houses of Mike Stax's English homeland.
The title track is a song full of shimmering psychedelic guitars, swirling over a hypnotic rhythm. Glenn Ross Campbell of the Misunderstood adds his steel guitar to the title track and — to even greater effect — “Heyday,” where the band slows things down to psychedelic blues. Musically, “Heyday” echoes the Bunnymen, while it lyrically laments the passing of someone's 15 minutes of fame: “When you reached the top, they cancelled your reservation.”
The highlight of the album is “Diamonds, Garbage, and Gold,” with its simple but dynamic chord progression, foot-to-the-floor beat, and infectious chorus. It tells a tale of a rich girl with all the friends that money can buy but a bankrupt personality: “You're rich, but you ain't got no class.”
Unsurprisingly, the band has retained its California psychedelia and British freakbeat ’60s influences. Yet they manage not to sound revivalist, as the Loons’ strengths are in the quality of musicianship and songwriting — two things that never age.