When Sweet Sleep Returned

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
Like their fellow San Franciscans in Wooden Shjips, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound mix bell-bottomed acid rock with vintage psychedelia, a combination that prizes instrumental prowess and long, skuzzy jams over vocals. Released in 2007, Ekranoplan nearly abandoned lyrics altogether, limiting most of the singing to a series of wordless oohs and aaahs that lent a dreamy, Beach Boys-gone-metal ambience to the album. Released two years later, When Sweet Sleep Returned finds the group devoting more time to vocal ability, with the bulk of the songs featuring melodies modeled after pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd and other psychedelic pioneers. Initially, such vocals ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
Like their fellow San Franciscans in Wooden Shjips, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound mix bell-bottomed acid rock with vintage psychedelia, a combination that prizes instrumental prowess and long, skuzzy jams over vocals. Released in 2007, Ekranoplan nearly abandoned lyrics altogether, limiting most of the singing to a series of wordless oohs and aaahs that lent a dreamy, Beach Boys-gone-metal ambience to the album. Released two years later, When Sweet Sleep Returned finds the group devoting more time to vocal ability, with the bulk of the songs featuring melodies modeled after pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd and other psychedelic pioneers. Initially, such vocals threaten to take away from Assemble Head's mystery; the lyrics aren't quite as evocative as the music, and they add earthy weight to what is otherwise an otherworldly blend of percussive thunder and cosmic guitar crunch. As the album progresses, however, Assemble Head's exploration serves them quite well, bolstering the band's interstellar space jams which are as muscled as they've ever been with new directions: the atmospheric boy-girl duet of "The Slumbering Ones," the slight British Invasion bent of "Kolob Canyon," and the messy Grateful Dead-styled harmonies of "Two Birds," whose multi-minute outro -- and the tangles of organ, theremin, and soloing guitar that accompany it -- is an undeniable album highlight. Instrumental freakouts are still the band's bread and butter, but there are some surprisingly lovely moments here, from the intermittent flute flourishes to the cooing, coed harmonies that previously lent a sweetness to Ekranoplan's meaty punch. Like the two albums before it, When Sweet Sleep Returned is a substance-addled soundtrack for California, its songs mirroring a state whose brushfires and natural disasters are tempered by a sense of perennial summer beauty.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • Label: Tee Pee Records
  • UPC: 707239009520
  • Catalog Number: 90095
  • Sales rank: 81,409

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound Primary Artist
Michael Landas Drums
Jefferson Marshall Guitar, Percussion
Evan Reese Vocals
Cindi Kazarian Viola
Christina Mansfield Vocals
Charlie Saufley Percussion, Vocals, Tamboura
Camilla Saufley Flute, Keyboards, Vocals
Brett Constantino Vocals
Anderson Lanbridge Theremin, Moog Synthesizer
Tim Green Vibes, E-bow
Technical Credits
Paul Gold Mastering
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