Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sunwatchers 'Sunwatchers' (ALBUM REVIEW)


"Kicking things off with ‘Herd of Creeps’, a hypnotic looping track with Arabic overtones, squiggly sax underpinned by a driving rhythm section, maintaining its urgency throughout..."


This eponymous 7-track from Sunwatchers treats the listener to a psychedelic jazz-rock throwback with a modern snake charmer twist, with not a vocal in sight. First impressions of this effort, released by Castle Face records is that one can’t believe this band hail from New York of all places, the sound created being decidedly Middle Eastern in feel, far out grooves for serious heads man.

Actually, don’t let that put you off because those with an eclectic bent will get Sunwatchers straight away, indeed there is an awful lot of interesting stuff going on here, fusing a blend of Zappa, Dead, Ozric, even Roxy, as Jim McHugh, Peter Kerlin, Jeff Tobias, Cory Bracken: Jason Robira, plus a whole host of roped-in friends have between them, created an imposing wall of sound, perfect for those long summer evenings as the sun passes over the yard arm.
Kicking things off with ‘Herd of Creeps’, a hypnotic looping track with Arabic overtones, squiggly sax underpinned by a driving rhythm section, maintaining its urgency throughout. ‘For Sonny’ is considerably slower, heavier and jazzier to boot, lulling one into a torpor before being rudely awakened by the frenetic ‘White Woman’, once more dishing up shedloads of bonkers saxophone, taking you on a journey to the heart of the sun and back for good measure.

We then get a brief interlude in the form of the super relaxed ‘Eusubius’, very redolent of a free form warm up jam, perhaps constituting the loosener in the band’s live sets. The three-part. ‘Ape Phases’, sax and guitar combining once more to soporific effect during the first half, then descending into a chaotic freeform middle, before resuming its previous shape for the denouement, albeit speeded-up.

‘Moroner’ is altogether rockier in feel before the 8-minute closing track ‘Moonchanges’ builds slowly before an almost militaristic space rock vibe kicks-in at the end.

Cosmic.


Words - Mike Price

'Sunwatchers' is released on March 25th 2016 via Castle Face Records.

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