Quality: 5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5
I've had this album lying around for a few years now, but I never really got around to listening to it- I think I found the band's name somehow unappealing. Anyway, that was my loss as this is a first rate collection of sun-drenched psychedelic rock. Faine Jade isn't a band either as it turns out this is a solo LP and that's the feller's name - sort of an opposite version of the Lynyrd Skynyrd - Jethro Tull - Pink Floyd conundrum. As often crops up on this blog, Pink Floyd is also a notable signpost for the music here as Faine Jade's songwriting and vocals were definitely taking notes from Syd Barrett, and he does a damn fine job of it. Still, the thing that really makes this a notable release is that Jade takes the sound of British Psychedelia and executes it as a garage-rocking, awesomely low rent version of the L.A. studio sound. A very groovy sound indeed.
There's not a bummer among these tracks - I try to not just throw around my 5 ratings. If you're looking for a straight up Americanized Barrett fix then you can't go wrong with the great "Games People Play," or "In a Brand New Groove." For straight out rocking, Faine Jade gives you the one-two punch with "I Lived Tomorrow" and "Ballad of the Bad Guys." "Cold Winter Sun" manages to sound like Galaxie 500 20 years before that band even started recording. You'll also find some strong psychedelic ballads on the title track and the "All You Need Is Love" echoing closer "Stand Together." I also find that "On the Inside" comes across as a nice extension of David Crosby's freaky later work with the Byrds. The only track here that might try your patience is the freak-out jam/sound collage "Grand Finale," but if you've got a soft spot for "Revolution #9" (as I do), then it'll all be groovy, yeah?
Really, this album belongs in the Pantheon of top rate, obscure psychedelic rockers like Rainbow Ffolly, July, or The End. In fact, it may be the best of that particular bunch. Faine Jade somehow managed to take pretty all of my favorite stylistic touches of 60's psychedelic rock, and get them all in the same place. It's like he was reading my mind eleven years before I was even born!