Red Sands

Red Sands

Written by: BV on 30/12/2013 21:24:05

Red Sands from Glasgow are the latest off-shoot on the surprisingly west-coast inspired psych tradition that seems to have swooped across the land in Europe as of late. Their somewhat sparkly, warm folk-inspired sound is one of fond memories for me, as they seemingly share more than a few inspirations with label-mates The Wicked Whispers who, if anything, have successfully melded the distinctly British psych sound with the warmer, west-coast inspired tones as well.

The same can rightfully be said about Red Sands, which becomes quite apparent with the hazy drone opener “Lady of Spring” which balances much of the neo-psych identity as it sounds distinctly hybrid-like. Without getting into quite the theses here about what kind of hybrid I refer to, I can boldly state that Red Sands bear no clear inspiration from just one source of psych. Rather, they seem to meld both British freak-beat, west-coast soft-psych and the distinctly Texan garage-psych sound into one cohesive unit of influences – to much success, I might add.

In spite of this, it isn’t all praise – much of the charm there is to be found about Red Sands can also actively work against them. For instance, this adoring affection towards a variety of different psych-sources should, if one would think rationally about it, make for quite the diverse listening experience. Instead, Red Sands occasionally border on the anonymous with a quite uninteresting blend of the greatest qualities of different kinds of psych, which has since been crafted into something entirely harmless – albeit easy to listen to. An example of this could very well be “Widow’s Walk”, a quite superfluous interlude track which serves as nothing more than a filler track, made for the purpose of sounding ‘out there’ with the droning eastern influences.

Rather than opting for the cop-out solution mentioned above, Red Sands should probably direct quite a bit more attention towards writing tracks like the unnervingly catchy and enthralling “The Lighthouse” which has a sort of hopeless melancholy to it, which never quite gets too depressing. Instead, it serves as a welcome downer on this trip that has, until now, proven to be quite airy and, well, too floating to be honest. This earthbound quality, beautifully enhanced by the amazingly crunchy lead guitar added near the middle-section of the track is just the break I’ve been hoping for on this album, effectively turning “The Lighthouse” into a stand-out track of this debut.

All in all I can certainly hear why people would praise Red Sands and their take on shimmering neo-psych. - Personally though, I’d still daresay that they have quite a way to go before they can mark themselves as truly fascinating to me.


Download: Lady of Spring, The Lighthouse
For the fans of: The Wicked Whispers, The Dandelion, Woods
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.12.2013
Electone Records

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