The Sunshine Fix

How do you brush up on your ancient Sumerian? The language hasn’t been spoken in something like 3,000 years. That’s somewhat the feeling one gets whenever one hears about some arty-farty indie act attempting to “recapture” the sounds of the psychedelic ‘60s. The genuine article hasn’t been actually performed in 30 years. In rock ‘n’ roll reckoning, that’s at least a few millennia.

Still, former Olivia Tremor Control chief Bill Doss manages a fairly convincing representation, musically/archæologically speaking. In a voice that suggests everyone from John Lennon to Brian Wilson to Lou Reed and so on, Doss captures those psychedelic inflections pretty accurately. The title cut kicks things off in an appropriate period frenzy—catchy chorus, backward guitars, feedback, flanging, everything but an exploding kitchen sink.

Other standouts include the Hendrixy backbeating “See Yourself,” the ballad “A Better Way to Be” with its reappearing coda after the “official” fade, and the set closing “Eyeless of Time,” with a nice, plaintive Arthur Lee guitar line and Beatlesy flute Mellotron. Overall, pretty good. However, when it comes to this science, XTC’s Dukes of Stratosphere is still the best.