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lauantai 30. maaliskuuta 2019

Sun Dial - Return Journey (reissue)

Sulatron Records (st1901)

Sun Dial is one of the greatest UK neo-psych rock bands and I've been a big fan since the early 90s. Their debut album Other Way Out released in 1990 on their leader's (guitarist/singer etc. Gary Ramon) own Tangerine label is absolutely one of the best psychedelia albums done after the 60s. Return Journey was recorded in 1991 with a recently recruited full band line-up with a similar, raw and heavy touch than the debut. But then the band decided to go in a bit more mainstream, certainly more produced shoegaze style with Overspill EP and Reflecter LP, and the recordings were shelved for a while.  Gary did release them in 1993 as a highly limited edition of just 500 copies on LP and CD. There have been a few CD reissues, but this is the first time this great album is being re-released on vinyl.

The LP has seven tracks. It starts up with a very cool cover of The Open Mind's  classic 7" track "Magic Potion", one of the best songs of the original psych era. Sun Dial made it a heavy guitar feast not unlike the early Spacemen 3 and I love it! "North Eastern" is a heavy instrumental rocker with plenty of room for Gary's wild guitar playing. Also released on a promo single and, as a more polished version, on the Overspill EP, "Fireball" is one of the highlights here. It certainly had even some hit potential being a very groovy and catchy piece of alternative acid rock. "Through You" has a bit more 60s vibe I think, another winner. "UV" is a shorter, dreamy acoustic instrumental and then it's time for the band's real mind-blower, the over 13-minute "Sun Stroke/Mind Train" that really gets the listener "out-there". This used to also be one of the live favourites and was re-recorded for Libertine. Think of a heavier version of "Interstellar Overdrive" by Syd's Pink Floyd and you are pretty close... Trippy-trippy! The album is finished with the beautiful, more tranquil and organ-driven "Slow Motion" that was resurrected for Libertine as well, just magical. Return Journey is one of my favourite Sun Dial releases and actually one of the best heavy psych rock releases by anyone anytime, so this LP reissue that comes with the original album art was definitely needed. Make sure you also check out their later stuff since it's all excellent!

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