San Francisco's Sleepy Sun have been recognized in recent years for their hand in the resurgence of West Coast psychedelia. Here, on their third full-length, the quintet exchange a bit of their obscurity for a more palatable supply of washed-out guitar and reverb. The album lacks electricity in the leadoff tracks, but gains plenty of momentum by song three, slow-building "Siouxsie Blaqq." Sure, the band have trimmed some of their excess fat, creating a more radio-friendly offering, but tunes like the penultimate "Deep War" provide tasty hooks while retaining some of the vibrant glow of their previous material. They've maintained their signature sound; they've just cleaned up the corners a bit. Perhaps the best preserved element is the strong, sandpapery singing of Bret Constantino. And they even stretch out a bit on the atmospheric "Martyr's Mantra," clocking in at just over six minutes. Spine Hits as a whole is a tighter operation, less intended to soundtrack your mushroom trip, but a worthy attempt to bridge the gap to the mainstream.
SLEEPY SUN + THE NEW HIGHWAY HYMNAL + WHITE HILLS | Church, 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston | April 12 @ 8 pm | 21+ | $10 | 617.236.7600
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