Quality: 3.75 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
"Lady Sunshine" is a fun reconstruction of the pop-psych sounds blossoming out of L.A. in the late 60's. It's not quite all the way there, but the songwriting and arrangements are pretty much spot-on. The other elements come enviously close as well. The production is crisp and clear - maybe even a touch too clear. A little more tube-blasted, echoey warmth would have made this sound completely authentic. The vocals, as well, are quite good with some girl/boy minor key harmonizing, but lack the full-on West Coast bombast and confidence that we often hear on the real thing. Actually, in a lot of ways, this disc feels a lot like the Essex Green's early recordings. It's ninety percent of the way to 60's sunshine bliss, with a few pit stops in the land of contemporary indie rock.
The group's at its best when in slathers in some sleazy garage rock grit into their wide-eyed sound. This vibes in mostly on "Black Velvet" and the Electric Prunes influenced "Mistress of Existence." The title track, "Dark Piece" and "Oasis of Time" do the best job of achieving the sound of Peter Fonda tripping through the hallucinated, medieval forest of the mind in, uh, "the Trip." I should also note that there is a bass note in the title track that makes me think my phone is vibrating every time I hear it.
This is a rather shortish album as well, clocking in under thirty minutes. I guess that is a perfectly reasonable period touch, along with the absolutely fantastic stained-glass drawing cover art. The Striped Bananas clearly have no interest in living in the musical present, and for the most part they have constructed a valid time machine of sound. Again, I would wholeheartedly recommend this platter to those who have grooved to the tunes of the Essex Green.
Listen over heyah:
The Striped Bananas - 2013 - Lady Sunshine