Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Sails: s/t (Rainbow Quartz)
release: June 27, 2006
styles: Neo-Psychedelic Pop
similar: Essex Green, Telepathic Butterflies, High Dials
rating: ****

Few things in life make me giddy. The light-hearted sweetness of songs like "She’s a Rainbow" by the Stones and finding new Brit pop bands who actually deserve comparisons to the Beatles. Here we've got both. The Sails hail from London and perform painfully cute songs about love and candy! Their self-titled debut is a sugar high that never crashes, complete with charming harmonies and bittersweet symphonies. Some of the songs ("See Myself") are simple and catchy, while others like "Peter Shilton" dazzle with their depth. Regardless, all songs will stick in your head like cotton candy kisses. -Shannon

Vlor: A Fire is Meant for Burning (Silber)
release: Summer 2006
styles: Ambient Acoustic
similar: most of the Silber roster
rating: **1/2

Thank goodness I just happen to wake up at 5am to listen this minimal, guitar-centered collaboration from some of Silber records' all-stars. As we all know, the early morning is the best time to listen to this kind of thing. On A Fire, main guy Brian John Mitchell has Jon DeRosa of Aarktica, Mike VanPortfleet of Lycia and others add reverbed acoustic guitar and more reverbed acoustic guitar, doing away with the need to rock. The better, more engaging tracks come when there's an airy vocal, bass or keyboard, which, as minimal as it is, adds depth and spookiness that the guitar can't achieve. Yeah, more of that, please. The guitar is way too lonely. -Kenyon

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