Saturday, 6 May 2017

THE SUNDOWNERS - CUT THE MASTER (Skeleton Key Records LP, D/L).

It’s been a couple of years since The Sundowners debut landed in a whirl of very positive critical response………….it’s exhilarating mix of 60s Brydsian jangle, headswirling Psychedelia and very twisted British Folk Rock caught the ear of many a discerning PsychHead. Fast forward to NOW and one of Britain’s most promising up-and-coming Psychedelic bands are back with a new album, the warped guitars, groove-bodied bass, hypnotic drums and emphatic dual vocals of Niamh Rowe and Fiona Skelly from the debut LP remain firmly in place, with the band’s sound now expanded into a majestic, multi-layered cinematic soundscape.

Inspired by an eclectic range of sounds and wide- ranging, very cool record collections, that takes in such diverse sounds as Shocking Blue, The United States Of America, CAN, Wendy and Bonnie, Scott Walker and Emmylou Harris among others, the band are continually honing and evolving their sound with refreshing innovative touches from driving riffs and thunderous grooves to swirling soundscapes and stellar harmonies from the ethereal voices of Skelly and Rowe. With a solid core of Psychedelic Pop sensibility running through album and the 12 tracks linked by Andy Votel’s ambient interludes, this is The Sundowners strongest set of songs to date. Cut The Master is built on the solid foundations laid down for the previous record, with depth and more shade introduced with more of an atmospheric 70s inspired witchy, spook folk vibe added to the already potent mix of 60s Rickenbacker jangle, Psychedelic Rock and Acid Folk. The album opens with the darkly psychedelic ‘Before The Storm’ and then twists and turns through two sides of excellent BritPsych that blends together pulsing motorik grooves, frantic Psych Pop and blissed out Psych Folk in gorgeous psychedelic wide-screen sound. The pick of a record full of fantastic tunes have to be the beautiful ‘Walk On In’, the modern Psych Pop groove of ‘Ritual’ and full on wig out of ‘The Watchful Eye’. Sonically innovative and fresh, Cut The Master is modern British Psych Rock at it best……………inspired by the classic sounds of the 60s/early 70s but also not afraid to evolve and experiment with the sound of their records, The Sundowners are destined to join the long list of great bands that have emerged from the fertile Liverpool Psych scene.

Cut The Master is out NOW on Skeleton Key Records on vinyl and CD, available from all good record stores (and HMV) or on line from all the usual suspects.

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