Quality: 3.25 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
By 1969, a lot of the sounds presented on A Lovely Sight were already becoming cliches. You'll get a plethora of various West Coast sounds speeding towards your ear, along with the vaudeville music urges that a few too many of the hippy bands indulged in. Fortunately, the musicians involved in Pisces play pretty well, and while they're song writing is no great shakes, there are a few aces up their collective sleeve. Pisces' drummer in particular hits upon a few breakbeats that someone needs to sample if it hasn't been done already. Also, occasional vocalist Linda Bruner does a pretty good job of putting forth a depressed Grace Slick vibe, which does work better than my description probably suggested. The production is also generally clear with a bit of amusing 60's experimentation, which I see as a pretty good thing.
Now the big stand out here is 'Mary,' an awesome psych track that could open up any Nuggets style compilation. The beat is phenomenal, which the fuzz guitar and disembodied sounding vocals float perfectly on top off. It's almost like a precursor to the shoegazer vibe that the Brits would dig 20 years later. There is a slightly disjointed middle section complete with sampled radio announcements, but it still has a fun retro charm. The spare "Motley Mary Ann" managed to get stuck in my head despite the terrible song title, and I swear the pretty good "Children Kiss Your Children Goodnight has something that sounds like a digital synth in it. "Sam" has a pretty cool drum delay, although the track is basically an average sounding San Francisco style slow rocker. "Are You Changing in Your Time" is a nice acid folk track, while "In the Dreams of Paula" sort of takes the acid folk idea and tosses in a bunch of fuzz guitar to mix it up a bit. "Circle of Time" works up a nice head of steam in the instrumental, even if the rest comes across like a second tier Jefferson Airplane. Really, nothing here is particularly bad, although very little stands out as very original.
By no means a classic, A Lovely Sight is a fine listen for those already indoctrinated into the San Fran scene and/or acid folk. For the rest of you, you'll at least want to give "Mary" a try, as I see it as the one completely classic track on an otherwise pleasantly average album. Truthfully, this album is more or less just a compilation of everything the band recorded, and not so much of a coherent album anyway. If this had been my musical legacy from Illinois in the 60's, I'd feel perfectly groovy begin associated with it.