Manzanita

Manzanita

by Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound

CD

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Overview

Manzanita

Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound's 2012 album finds the San Francisco group still happily riding the waves of a late-'60s acid/jam afterglow, but one that has its own calm appeal beyond the comforts of the past. "L.A. Sacrifice" sets a tone less of deep exploration than full-bodied acid rock and crooning, so initially the name of the game might be gentle re-creation rather than the back of beyond. The key to the album, though, might be that while there's singing throughout, the group sounds much more comfortable as an instrumental prospect, with occasional verses and choruses acting as brief hooks for the group as a whole to hang its hat on. The steady swing of "Blue Wire" is as good an instance of this in action as any, with vocals just a touch buried in the mix and soloing moments standing out over the easy rhythm -- with even those shifting gears a touch via some extra hi-hat here and there. Other examples might be less immediately gripping, but a song like "Sunshine" at least moseys along quite well rather than making one bark at the speakers in annoyance. Meantime, "Slithery Thing" finds a sweet, gently choppy vibe, and it's a little hard to knock the sentiments of a song called "Green Meadow Slowdown." Back on "L.A. Sacrifice," the organ break fades into some reasonably heavy riffage right before the end, only for "(Gone) 'Round the Corner" to turn into a quiet guitar start and then vocals that shift between the late-'60s-era and a kind of sweet and soaring flow that could almost be more '90s indie pop, not to mention an actual instrumental coda that doesn't feel tacked on. Not bad, really. As a little bonus, it's also easy to like "The Flume"'s lyrical note about being a bug on a windshield wiper.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/19/2012
Label: Tee Pee Records
UPC: 0707239014227
catalogNumber: 90142

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