The Sonic Dawn

Perception

Written by: BV on 07/11/2015 14:24:42

The Sonic Dawn is a band I’ve been following on and off for a few years or so. I’ve been there from they were called Shogun Assassins over to the slightly more well-known The Mind Flowers until they finally settled on The Sonic Dawn, enjoying the ride as it went along. It has taken the band a while, but “Perception”, their debut album has finally been released and with it, the band attempts to still a vast array of influences and ambitions into one solid, cohesive album of psychedelic tunes.

Opening with “An Easy Heart to Break” the band’s bluesy influences are apparent from the get-go, before being distilled into a musical vibe not entirely unlike “Band of Gypsys”-era Hendrix. If that’s not a rock-solid start, I’m not entirely sure what would classify as such. It’s refreshing to hear a take on psychedelic rock that is not pinned down on the growing popularity of garage rock and, at times, space rock. Rather, The Sonic Dawn’s approach is much more 70’s oriented in terms of favoring groovy rhythm work with ethereal guitar sounds and cascading echo-bubbles – as is the case on “All the Ghosts I Know” which is undoubtedly an early highlight of “Perception”.

This, however, doesn’t mean that there are no traces of garage rock to be found throughout “Perception”. On “The Mustang” we hear The Sonic Dawn unfolding like a melding of mid-sixties garage-rock and more recent approaches to the genre like those of Baby Woodrose. - This all changes, however, as the track bursts into a meditative trance blooming with organ and sitar, supported by a very hypnotic bass line and a superbly meditative, echo-drenched vocal. It’s an unexpected but highly welcome twist – even after five or six full listens of the album.

“Wild at Heart” takes the listener right in to the barren plains and dangerous rural outskirts of a western movie – with the intro of the track sounding like something Morricone himself could have penned, which is probably the highest form of praise there is. As it then evolves into the signature style of funky playfulness which The Sonic Dawn seemingly master, there is little here to not be impressed by. I’d even go so far as to say that it is not only refreshing, but also about damn time that someone on this psychedelic scene of ours came along to shake things up in this particular, funky spectrum of the music.

There are, of course, also moments that aren’t quite as excellent as those previously described. I’ve always had a strong feeling of ambivalence towards acoustic tracks, so “Black Cat Woman” is no real exception. It’s got a nice sort of swagger to it, but I actually feel it is somewhat misplaced in the general context of an album that is otherwise quite coherent without becoming a slave to an overarching concept.

I could probably sit here all day and write my thoughts on every single track on the album, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll leave you with this; if you think Hendrix was amazing, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band were just the right kind of freaky and groovy rock n’ roll is just your thing – well, then The Sonic Dawn is probably right up your alley. If not, give them a go anyway. I am certainly more impressed than I expected to be.

8

Download: Watching Dust Fall, Wild at Heart, The Mustang
For the fans of: Jimi Hendrix, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Entrance Band, Graveyard
Listen: Facebook

Release date 31.10.2015
Nasoni Records


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