It?s been my experience that, if you have Glenn Donaldson playing on a record, there is a pretty good chance that at least some aspect of the music is going to be a tad bit magical. If not all of it. Here, he is teamed up with Shayde Sartin, both key members of the Skygreen Leopards, itself a beautifully damaged and damn near always sweet trip. The magic contained herein, and on that of most Skygreen Leopards best material, is really a bittersweet vibe, perfectly laid to tape. You can feel love and longing, union and loneliness all in one song. And some form of intoxicant. As if love and longing weren?t intoxicating enough.
Giant Skyflower Band?s "Blood of the Sunworm" is kind of like a time portal, a quick trip back to some lost, acid-damaged June in California, in the late ?60?s or early ?70?s. It's got the same mojo vibe that the best of Brian Jonestown Massacre has; tripped to the nines, genuinely loving the idea of lost music, music that could have existed then but never quite did. Lost music that never got made. Until now.
Right from the opener, "Oh Mary Green," you are wandering down a psych-drenched path. Guitar and sitar dance with the vocals sung sickly sweet and raspy all the same. ?Time Won?t Sing a Song for You? is so goddamned good, the gem on an album of gems. It?s rather simple in structure yet so addictive you'll be humming it all year long? an anti-love song smacked out on opium. A fucking lullaby. Loping drums follow the 12 string guitar?.I?m a mess every time I hear it. "Feast of Blood" is carried by an almost listless bass line and dreamy organ notes that chime in here and there, dancing around the chorus of doubled voices. Perfectly fractured. The second half of the album carries some heavy instrumentals. "Rainbows and Dreams" is brief but direct, almost like the score to a waking dream, deja-vu or a flashback. ?Meditations on the Christ and the Magi' closes the album out with just that, a meditation, heavy on the sitar, an extended reflection?absolutely moving.
The whole thing feels like a dream to me. I?ve had the album for months now and from the first spin I was moved. The songs here have found their way into a special part of my life, the birth of my daughter, merely by coincidence of timing, but cemented in there for sure. For as much as a brief description of Giant Skyflower Band may tag them as a mere throw-back to the sounds of 60?s/70's acid folk, it really is more than that. It has the vibe of a lost pot-folk album from the era sure, but manages to sound fresh all the same. And with its rather basic instrumentation of guitar, sitar and vocals, the whole thing comes off surprisingly lush. It?s warm in all the right spots and really soundtracks your strangest afternoons of intoxication and/or disconnect. Love songs for the too-far-gone. Surely one of my favorite releases of 2007 thus far. 9/10 -- Adam Richards (22 May, 2007)