May 18, 2021

Beachwood Sparks - Beachwood Sparks (Promo CD) (2000)

*This is a promotional CD issued to radio stations in a cardboard sleeve. 
Contains the album in its entirety - 14 tracks total.
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Country
Label Number: SPCD 503

© 2000 Sub Pop
If ever a band sounded like the sunbaked children of a partnership between the trippy psychedelic dreamers of the paisley underground and the lonesome cowboys of the late-'60s Laurel Canyon cosmic country, Beachwood Sparks are it. The group's self-titled debut album is a perfect distillation of the two thanks to soaring pedal steel, winsome harmonies, alternately twanging and swirling guitars, and songs that sparkle like lost gems. The band take care to adorn each sweet and sad melody with note-perfect arrangements that fill every corner of the mix with something good. They coat the melancholy songs in a woody patina of dusky sunlight, surrounding Chris Gunst's fragile vocals with sympathetic strums and vocal harmonies. "Canyon Ride" is a blue delight, especially when the downcast "doo-doo-doos" come in, "New County" is a lovely laid-back waltz that sounds lifted from a late-'60s Byrds record, and "The Reminder" features some excellent barroom piano and sounds as lowdown and broken as the saddest Gram Parsons song. The bulk of the album revolves around these tender ballads with the band showing off considerable skill as singers, writers, and players. They balance these moments with a handful that cut loose a little as they kick up some serious dust on rockers like "Sister Rose" or "The Calming Seas," take a detour to the beach for "This Is What It Sounds Like," drop some acid-y, guitar-heavy elements into the woozy "Something I Don't Recognize," and ramble through some hippie C&W on "Silver Morning After." No matter the mood or tempo, every song comes across like the band playing at their absolute peak. Most of the members of the group had already been making music for a long time when they started Beachwood Sparks, notably with lo-fi heroes Further, and it shows. They play with confidence and restraint, while still filling the uptempo songs with a sense of joy and the sad songs with tear-streaked soul. Beachwood Sparks might not be the first band to give cosmic country a shot, but their debut album proves right away that they are one of the best.

tags: beachwood sparks, beachwood sparks album, beach wood, promo, 2000, flac,

2 comments:

  1. beatrice_89May 18, 2021

    so happy to see alt. country back on the site :) never knew sub pop had alt. country bands, thank you lass.

    ReplyDelete
  2. StarladyMay 18, 2021

    A great album. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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