Sun Dial - Sun Dial LP Vinyl (Yellow/Import)

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Special Features: Limited to 300. Yellow vinyl..

Sun Dial are a psychedelic / space rock band apparently. Cards on the table; my knowledge of psychedelic music starts with Hawkwind and ends with Monster Magnet and Pink Floyd so my judgement on this album is not exactly an expert opinion. In fact, it would be fair to say that I’ve got no idea what the hell I’m talking about. However its amazing how much ignorance you can disguise behind a few facts lifted from Wikipedia and a band’s own MySpace. These ultra-reliable sources reveal that Sun Dial is the project of a guy called Gary Ramon and a host of collaborators and has been running in one form or another since the early nineties.

A cursory listen to Sun Dial reveals that Gary Ramon is a pretty good guitarist and owns some effects pedals which he likes rather a lot. This pretty raw, basic rock music with driving riffs, smothered in fuzz underpinned with some solid rhythm work from drummer Angelo Pantaleo and bassist Russell Barrett. The bass is sometimes inaudible, but Pantaleo knows his way round the good side of a drum fill. The production might be charitably described as retro and less charitably described as very basic but guitar, vocals and drums are all clear and if the bass gets lost in the mix that’s not such a bad thing since Ramon’s simple guitar licks are very much the star of the show.

It’s a pretty dark album too with lyrics that reference revenge and paranoia as well as name-checking the Zodiac Killer. Ramon’s matter of fact, unpretentious delivery underscores the quiet menace of the album nicely. The album gels together well, moving between quiet passage and monolithic rock attack with ease. There’s absolutely nothing forced about Sun Dial, this is music produced by people who know their instruments, know their riffs and have nothing to prove to anyone. There’s a strong punk ethos kicking away behind the sound, a rawness that I always enjoy in these days of overproduced American stadium bands. I associate psychedelic music with dense layer sound and prolonged instrumental jams but the songs on this album are short, sharp and punchy and there’s not a keyboard or an elf costume in sight. - Oliver Longden (OneMetal.com)