Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Loons - "Red Dissolving Rays Of Light" CD

From San Diego comes this band of amped-up garage rockers who also dip their strings into mod retro power-pop territory. Loons have been around for 15 years now, and this, their 3rd album, recallls as much the Stooges and MC5 as Arthur Lee's Love or the Kinks. It's a terminally-cool and hip rock and roll sound, back to basics with melodic vocals, chiming Roger Guinn-style guitars (especially on tracks like "The Losers Win"), and freaky organ work. There are similarities with kindred spirits like the Brian Jonestown Massacre, as both acts liberally borrow the look and sound from before their time and illustrate the timelessness of the 60s rock era. But that's obscuring the fact that the Loons write some catchy singalong tunes. "Summer's End" has lively backing vocals and an upbeat vibe. "Diamonds, Garbage & Gold" is another anthemic standout. Surely a high point of the band's live shows.

I like that Loons aren't afraid to be "pop". But in their case, the "pop" is neither manufactured or artificial. Loons concoct a natural, organic, and human form of music that favorably crosses strong songwriting with an air of regal garage rock recklessness (and attitude). Loons' warm and classic sounds should find favor with a wide cross-section of listeners, and "Red Dissolving Rays Of Light" is full of balmy Summer sunshine to these jaded ears. (Bomp! Records)


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