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tiistai 22. joulukuuta 2015

Sun Dial - Mind Control

Sulatron Records (st 1510)

This is the first CD issue of the latest studio album by U.K. neo-psych rock legends Sun Dial. Mind Control was originally released in 2012 on vinyl only and limited to 500 copies, so I guess this was in order. I reviewed the album back in 2012 so I'm using some of that now being a lazy bastard...

The UK based Sun Dial was formed in the beginning of the 90s and is a great example of prime neo-psychedelia. Their 1990 debut Other Way Out is one of the most legendary releases in this genre. The band led by guitarist/singer Gary Ramon made several other great albums in the first half of the 90’s before fading out after the 1995 album Acid Yantra. You can read more of their history from the interview I did with Gary in 2003, for example. In the 00s this band that is one of my favourites luckily started to rise from the dead and I think that especially Zen for Sale (2003) was a very good album. The untitled official studio album from 2010 on the other hand was a sort of disappointment for some of the fans since the band seemed to be trying to reach the metal audience which meant less psychedelia. But that album still has its moments! It’s also worthwhile to get at least some of the compilations and reissues with bonus tracks that have been coming out during the recent years.

Now Sun Dial has very consciously returned to the moods of their first album since the producer is Hugo Chavez-Smith who also produced Other Way Out, their early record label Tangerine has been resurrected to release Mind Control and the music is maybe even more mind-expanding than ever! Recorded in 2011-2012, (the original) Mind Control includes six tracks and I really like them all. The over nine-minute “Mountain of Fire & Miracles” is very hypnotic, druggy and mystical stuff that somehow brings to mind the brilliant Inside the Acid Temple album by Liquid Sound Company. Gary’s voice sounds really good. What an excellent and psychedelic track! The instrumental “Radiation” starts off peacefully and there’s also some flute sounds like on the debut album. Soon the groovy drum beat joins in and then also some electronic soundscapes appear and finally some heavier electric guitar. Great! “Burned In” is a short, experimental sound collage and then Sun Dial goes for a Neu! styled kraut rock jam on the long, instrumental title track “Mind Control”! This is another one of my favourites on the album and is guaranteed to make you feel dizzy in the head. ”Last Rays of the Sun” is a beautiful, tranquil and atmospheric track that doesn’t have any vocals either. ”In Every Dream Home a Heartache” begins acoustically in the same style than many of the songs on their recent semiofficial CD-R EP’s. The chord progression reminds me of Hawkwind’s “Assault & Battery” and there is also some violin in there. Gary’s singing is not that on-your-face but still very efficient. Right in the middle the track starts to move in a heavier manner and works very well. We still get to hear Gary’s wah guitar soloing too which is always nice...

What's special for this CD reissue are the two previously unreleased bonus tracks at the end! "Seven Pointed Star (Short Version)" and "World Within You" were both spawn from the same recording sessions than the six tracks on the original LP. The first one is a hypnotic, apocalyctic instrumental that would suit perfectly a Satanic horror movie. The other one is a slow, hazy psych rock song with some signature fuzz guitar work by Mr. Ramon as well as floating flute. A cool, otherwordly atmosphere to end this very nice reissue that's worth getting even if you have the LP already. It's also great to know that the band have been working hard on a brand-new album so beware...

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