Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
I believe that this was Gorky's American debut and it's certainly the first time I came across them as I was spinning discs at my college radio station. By this time, the band had toned down quite a bit, and had developed a sort of 'twilight' haze to the music. Things are much folkier and violinist Megan Childs has far more to do. Typically, I would not see this as a plus. I'm a conceited cellist myself, and violins typically don't do it for me (especially in rock and jazz), but Child's violins parts are well thought out and irreplaceable bits of the tunes. While not quite as exuberant as their earlier material on average, their mature sound presents a band that really has grown into their own thing and this is probably their best album.
Now, after going on a bit about the quieting down of the band, the rockers on this disc do put in duty of some of the highlights. 'Poodle Rocking' is just as entertainingly dumb as it's title and will end up stuck in your head forever. It's the only spot on this album where the band rips into the tune with wild abandon. The amps crank up a bit on 'Desolation Blues' as well, and the awesome crunch guitar riff fits along with Euros Child's crooning vocals. The rest of this disc is chock full of folkier tunes, and they don't disappoint. I'm particularly enamored of the blissfully melancholy 'She Lives on a Mountain,' the country folk sound of 'Faraway Eyes,' and the burned out in the Spanish countryside vibe of the title track. The band fares well with some brief instrumentals as well, with the textured 'The Fool' leading the bunch.
This is a pretty subdued collection, but is a top flight set of acid folk. The influences stick mostly to the late 60's and early 70's here, and if the Soft Machine had been more into folk than jazz, they might have comes out sounding a little like this. It'll do you well for your listening late at night or on a particularly golden sun-bleached day.