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The Sadies
Favourite Colours
Yep Roc Records
www.thesadies.net


I have heard The Sadies off and on for the past few years, mostly backing Neko Case live. I have to admit that this is the first time I've ever actually listened to one of their records front to back - and I have to tell you, I am a fan. The most obvious and forward thing for me to tell you about The Sadies is that they are the modern day Byrds. All of the pieces fit nicely into this equation. The vocal harmonies are reminiscent of those early days of country-rock, the guitars are jangly and chime right along with Roger McGuinn's 12-string work, and the leads are fuzzy and full of those same near-psychedelic underpinnings. This band invokes the spirit of those glorious days in rock's yesteryear, but without sounding contrived or plagiarized.

Kicking Favourite Colours off is the instrumental "Northumberland West", which I swear I would think was a Byrds' tune if I was to hear it without knowing who it was. And perhaps that's where it all came together for me. Or perhaps it was on "Translucent Sparrow", with its country guitars and fuzzed out solos; or maybe the dark and somber tone of "1000 Cities Falling (Part1)" was what really set me up for my love of this record. "A Good Flying Day" is the track that has been set for radio to rotate, and I can't argue with the crisp acoustic guitars and swinging, yet sparse, drums of this amazing song… But I will most assuredly let you all know that there is far more depth to this record than that clean beauty. There is the surf instrumental "Only you And Your Eyes", which is filled with classic guitar tones and laidback emotion - perfect for that sunny summer day, kicking back with your favorite cold beverage. The jangling and speedy rhythm guitars of "As Much As Such" and the dreamy psychedelic cast of "The Curdled Journey" help to create the unique vibe of this record. Relaxing songs like "Why Would Anybody Live Here?" intersperse this record with relief from the slight tension of songs like "Song Of The Chief Musician (Part 2)". All things considered, this record is a journey of musical discovery in the same worlds that Donovan, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Roger McGuinn, and their cohorts first began to reveal in the 60's. It is a breath of fresh air in a time that music tends towards stale recreations of classics, rather than redefinitions of the sounds that those pioneers began to develop.

If you have been eagerly waiting for the next movement in alt-country, this record may not be the place to look. If you are looking for roots music, steeped in tradition, filled with delicate and beautiful guitar work and ambitious lyrics, then this is definitely a record for you to hear. The epic sound that McGuinn and company created on their records in the late 1960's is most definitely captured on Favourite Colours, and there are more than a few times when listening makes me want to pull out my dusty vinyl copy of Younger Than Yesterday and revel in the crisp psychedelic country deliciousness… or maybe I'll just listen to Favourite Colours again… and again…

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Northumberland West
2. Translucent Sparrow
3. 1000 Cities Falling (Part 1)
4. Song Of The Chierf Musician (Part 2)
5. The Curdled Journey
6. Why Be so Curious (Part 3)
7. The Iceberg
8. A Good Flying Day
9. Only You And Your Eyes
10. As Much As Such
11. A Burning Snowman
12. Coming Back
13. Why Would Anybody Live Here?


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Mike Doughty



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