DOG AGE – Reefy Seadragon (Rainbow Quartz)

Another Rustic Rod purchase is this album from this US modern psyche band. This is much more immediate than Anton Barbeau’s album, with the modern production giving it a slightly harder edge, and it sounds more like some of the classic Elephant 6 bands such as Olivia Tremor Control and Apples In Stereo rather than a real 60’s psyche album. Not afraid to try unusual ideas, the opening track ‘The American Line’ features a staccato trumpet solo, while ‘What You Were On’ sounds like a Syd Barrett song played by the Beatles. ‘The Puppeteer’ is a lounge-core jazz piece on guitar and synth, and is surprisingly enjoyable, but the psychedelic rock re-appears for ‘Jesse Brown’, with its backwards guitar solo, and ‘Bongsong’s obvious lyrical content. ‘Spanish Peasants’ is a semi-acoustic ballad – not really psychedelic but still pop with an intriguing edginess. ‘When I Was A Young Boy’ is one of the most out and out psychedelic songs on here, even mentioning it in the lyrics, and the music is suitably trippy. The band attempt a couple of covers, both of which work very well, with Donovan’s ‘Cosmic Wheels’ sounding as if it was written for this album, and George Harrison’s ‘Blue Jay Way’ being given a reverential reading, sounding only slightly more trippy than the original. This album should appeal to quite a wide variety of potential purchasers, containing as it does an accessible collection of pop and rock songs, with a smattering of psychedelia which does not overpower the quality of the songwriting.