The Sundowners - Cut The Master

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:10 Release Date:

If you’re a fan of  “all things psychedelia”, you might have encountered the name Sundowners before. Those were old LA sunshine pop guys from way back in 1968, but which quickly went into obscurity (unfairly). But, what we have here is are a modern day Sundowners from Liverpool, and they definitely do have something to do with “all things psychedelia”. If you follow that musical line, particularly the modern side of it, then you’re certainly familiar with Liverpool’s Skelly family.

As a reminder, Ian and James (co-producer here and co-owner of the label this one is coming out on) are members of that great all-psychedelic (modern and not so modern)  band The Coral, while another brother, Alfie (guitar player), and sister, Fiona (singer) are, along with another guitarist/singer, Niamh Rowe members of this modern day Sundowners. So the psychedelic connection with the “old guys” is there, but does it matter? It definitely should  - not only because psychedelia produces some great sounds, but because, like The Coral, The Sundowners do it so well too.

And the psychedelic feel is more or less where the comparisons with the old band end and start (a bit) with the other brotherly band, The Coral. Don’t worry, The Sundowners are neither a pure copy nor copyists - the only musical connection that you can get here is James Skelly’s production touch he also applies to recent Coral outings. And this album is better for it. Actually, there is nothing to really fault here - The Sundowners straddle the Sixties and Seventies psychedelic divide, with a multitude of inspirational sources that are blended nicely so that a musical researcher in you can have a hard time defining where they came from. Fiona’s voice does have a slight similarity with that of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan, but with less of that cool detachment and more full-blooded engagement.

Issuing a siblings record on your imprint could sometimes be a risk if it is sub-par but Skelly’s made sure that is not going to be the case since the tunes slowly build on you and the singing and playing is a match. Of course, the room for improvement is there, but this album is a telling sign that more good music can be expected from The Sundowners.

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