Reviews:: Giant Skyflower Band Blood of the Sunworm

I mentioned it a few days ago, but one of the CDs I’d been anxiously waiting to hear was the new release by the Giant Sunflower Band. I love the Skygreen Leopards, so hearing that Donaldson was going to hole himself up in a room with Shayde Saryin and a bag of herb to “experiment with sound” was something I needed to hear.

The starting point, without sounding pompous, is predictable. After hearing about this projects, I assumed the duo would build a foundation of strangely depressing, beautiful sitar laced pop songs, but I don’t I expected them to be quite this good.

I’m not really sure how best to review this record. Lyrically, it’s incoherent at times and seems unfocused, but those are two things I love about it. The duo clearly put any rules or expectations in the garbage and really just played. The songs sound more like a jam session that just clicked rather than an album that took time to write. With short instrumental interludes, extended intros and outros and an 11-minute droning epic, it’s pretty obvious the duo was quite happy to simply explore the space they were in.

The sitar jangled intro to an interesting cover of a Hidden Cameras track (Build the Bone) is a perfect example. I can imagine these two playing, and during the sitar intro, Donaldson hearing a few notes and the track just evolves. Like the mood of the people creating the music, the songs just sound free.

But like a book, or a girlfriend, you should never judge something until you get between the covers. Donaldson’s voice fits perfectly into this type of music. His falsetto seems to wrap about the textures of the notes, wavering and scratching without restraint. Shayde creates a nice tapestry for him to explore – Feast of Blood is the stand out. As Donaldson sings, Sartin uses a mixture of sounds and chimes to craft a whimsical, magical backdrop. The keyboards, simple drums and sitar on Archangel (Hurray for the Beast) are strangely mesmerizing as Donaldson ends the track by simply repeating the words “hurray for the beast.”

This record isn’t for everyone. Song names like Rainbows and Dreams (with Worms Singing) coupled with just the simple strums of an acoustic and a warble heavy sitar aren’t something most people will want to sit through. But for those who actually absorb the record, you are in for a pleasant surprised.

The interesting thing about listening to this record is, since I’m not horking a bong hit at my desk, I can’t help but winder if it sounds this good to me, how great did it sound to them?

MP3:: The Archanngel (Hurray for the Beast)
Label:: Soft Abuse

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