Sleepy Sun - Band On The Wall - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Sleepy Sun - Band On The Wall

by Miz DeShannon Rating: Release Date:

Wailing guitar harmonies, soaring vocal melodies, heavy fuzzy bass and thudding jazz-like drum timings are all the ingredients of a great psych-rock band. Probably along with a swaying guitarist, a possessed looking singer and a handful of random unexplainable instruments or gadgets on stage. San Fran band Sleepy Sun has all of this, but not in such a way that they seem contrived or following a certain regimented style, and all in a lighter, more acoustic vibe than you'd expect from psych-rock.

Still pretty young, thinking about the era in which the music predominantly comes from, they're part of a massive resurgence in the genre, and have swiftly released album number two (Fever, ATP Recordings 2010) then taken to touring the World to much acclaim. This was their final gig of this stretch of touring, and they're heading home and getting their heads down for album number three already.

Playing the iconic venue, Band on the Wall, things kinda felt like you were in too clean an environment, like everything was too proper and nice. Not that people were about to start throwing beer around or making a mess of the new carpet, but songs like 'New Age' and 'Open Eyes' give off a feel of sitting on a hill after sunset, daydreaming, lying back watching the stars and getting stoned as opposed to standing, orderly, in a newly refurbed venue.

Having lost singer Rachel Fannan recently, vocals on 'Marina' lacked a little contrast, but Bret Constantino has the wailing and howling voice to sufficiently keep the dramatic feel of the songs. With an amazing PA in the venue, sounds from the harmonica and percussion on 'Sleepy Son' came through crystal clear, so none of the emotion was lost among too much bass and guitar noise. Vocal harmonies in songs like 'Wild Machines' were covered quite quietly and delicately by guitarist Evan Reiss, amid a maelstrom of wailing riffs from himself and Matt Holliman on 'White Dove'.

The quite beautiful 'Desert God' from Fever was a song that again sadly lost out to the lack of Rachel's vocals; despite how hard he tried Evan couldn't sound like a girl. The band pulled off the vast amount of other sounds in their songs with absolute ease and such distinctive flair, that the loss didn't stop the gig from being a triumph.



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