In All of the World At Once
Don't be fooled by the trippy album cover or the sitar intro to this album's opening track. Aside from a few ultra-fuzz guitar solos and one convincing garage rocker, Blue Sunshine Soul's self-released debut is not a 1960s nostalgia tour. The band's collaborative, improvisational approach may hearken back to the era of flower children, but more contemporary influences flavor the result. The majority of the album is situated fully in the late 1990's. Syrupy slow surf guitar and male-female vocal harmonies place this band in the company of alterna-folk bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
"Dry My Bones" and "Darkest Hour" successfully combine Roky Erickson-style psychedelia and indie rock, but "Steal Into the Sun" falls victim to its own kitsch. "We Are Done," the album's '60s-style garage nugget, is so authentic—down to the ultra-white frat guy backing vocals—it's difficult to take it seriously.
Certainly all this silly '60s iconography is at least in part a joke, and if BSS continues this magical mystery tour long enough to produce another album or two, the retro artifice is certain to fall away, leaving a solid core of inventive and darkly joyous sound.
Blue Sunshine Soul plays the Badlander Friday, July 24 at 9 PM with Quiet Ones and Good Neighbor Policy. $5.