Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Loons - Paraphernalia

By now, everyone should be familiar with San Diego’s The Loons – the latest project from ex-Crawdaddies/Tell-Tale Hearts’ Mike Stax. In this incarnation, Mike is the lead singer and has turned over the bass duties to his lovely wife Anja (ex-Diaboliks), and is aided and abetted by Mark Schroeder and Chris Marsteller on guitars and Iain Andrew on drums (who has since been replaced by Mike Kamoo). 

This album lies between the fine debut, Love’s Dead Leaves and the latest, Red Dissolving Rays of Light. While far from a sophomore slump, this record seems to almost be a bit of a transitionary one. Not bad in any sense of the word, but maybe not as thoroughly psychedelic as the first or as cohesive as the last. Still, a fine piece of work, with plenty of garage and psych leanings (often in the same song, as in “Sweet Turns to Sour”), nice folky electric 12-string (“Follow the Rain Down”), mid-tempo rockers with nice fuzz work (“Falsehood”), a frantic number of lunacy with a damn catchy chorus (“Some Kind of Asylum”), epic trippiness filled with feedback and guitar noise (the closer, "Another Life") and much more. There is an over-abundance of memorable licks, nice melodies, trippy sections, punchy chords and some groovy rhythms (I really dig the “Sookie Sookie" vibe in “Craig Smith?”).

As I say, I think the other two releases surpass this, but that’s just cuz they are so good! This is still a great piece of garage/psych which any lover of the genre should own!