Triptides - Afterglow

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2017-06-23

If the West Coast sound of the Sixties is in your soul and you want to play it today, I guess you will eventually land up in San Francisco or Los Angeles no matter where you’re from. So if you are originally from Bloomington Indiana, and your music tends to sound more like the Los Angeles variant, I guess it is not that hard to end up in Los Angeles and even become a known force on the scene.

In essence, that is the story of Triptides (the name is already telling), but their new album Afterglow deserves more than a passing attention only from fans and followers of that scene. Since I fall in the mentioned group and tend to gulp up anything related to West Coast Sixties, it can sometimes be hard to be objective and judge the band and a music obviously sharing the same taste solely on the merits of what they came up with. Usually, the problem lies in differentiating between those that are just sympathetic emulators of a style (you like the style, you’ll like the copy cats), and those that have really infused themselves with a certain sound and are producing something that is more of a style meta-language, or even something new.

I had no problems with Triptides or Afterglow in that respect - they definitely fall into the latter category. Not at any moment on the album can you hear a too obvious musical reference or just an emulation of certain bands or musicians style. Of course, quotes are all around, but they seem to stem from the intake of all that good music and unconsciously coming up with your own combination. Skimming through some of the tracks, the introductory Summer Is Over gives us the traces of Arthur Lee and Love in their best moments without being a carbon copy of that sound. Rewind brings in the obligatory guitar jangle (what is the Sixties California sound without a guitar jangle), but it is neither forced or pronounced and leans more in the direction of Buffalo Springfield than The Byrds. But then as the album progresses, we get a Doors-ey style organ sound, eastern touches (they did a tour with The Temples, after all), Nuggets-style pop and then back.

But the key is that none of it sounds copyist or contrived, Triptides have truly digested the Sixties West Coast style and it has obviously become an integral part of them. And it works.

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