Friday, March 06, 2015

The Loons - Inside Out Your Mind

I've ranted'n'raved about the Loons several times before (though somehow haven't reviewed their excellent debut - will have to correct that!) and I've known Mike Stax longer than most people that I'm still in touch with and have been a fan of all of his bands over the years and the Loons are certainly no exception. Here Mike forsakes his Harmony bass and strictly sings lead while wife Anja (ex-Diaboliks/Cherylinas) aptly handles the bass chores along with Chris Marsteller and Marc Schroeder on guitars and Mike Kamoo on drums. This new Bomp! release follow in the footsteps of their previous releases (and bands) while continues to expand upon their sound and break new ground.

The sound here is terrific and this one opens with a rockin' guitar raver, "Siren City", that is somehow hauntingly familiar, with its cool melody, guitar lines and harmonies, and yet still original. In a combination of old Pebbles tunes and their moodier side (like something from their first album, Love's Dead Leaves), "Moon and Tide" is still full of energy, but has more of a Soundtrack of Their Lives feel. The title track pounds'n'stomps with an off-time groove, before adding a psych-ish chorus and lots of fine guitar interaction (Chris and Marc are a great team - working off of each other and adding just the right parts to each song). They bring in the 12-string for "Out of the Frame" while Anja starts out the hard-edged rocker "Cruel Grey Fog". For a change of pace there's an acoustic number (played by drummer Kamoo), "Silence", sounds like a quieter number from something like S.F.Sorrow. So you don't get too complacent they return with another fierce garage cruncher, "My Desolation" and the fuzz-filled "I Don't Live There Anymore". They dial back the mania (though it does build nicely) a bit for the psych-pop of "Head in the Clouds" (complete with strings!) but return with another piece of fuzz-garage in "Transparent Eyes" and then closes out with more groovy, energetic, Beatles-esque psych-pop in "As the Raven Flies".

Any lover of 60's sounds will know who Mike Stax is, so you know that he has great taste, so you already know that any band that he does will be something to see and hear. Definitely one to get and check them out whenever you can! I hear rumors of tours happening!