November 20, 2021

Sundial - Libertine (1993)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Neo-Psychedelia 
Label Number: 92326-2

© 1993 Beggars Banquet
Basically a neo-psychedelic band with ambient and Brit-pop leanings, on Libertine, Sundial sounds as if they were probably a blast live. Unfortunately, on record, uninterrupted guitar droning (even if quite energetic) can only hold even the most loyal fan's interest for about two tracks. Unlike labelmates Spiritualized (not to mention the pre-Spiritualized group Spacemen 3), Sundial pretty much start and end in the same place sonically and emotionally. In fact, the difference between the two groups is kind of like the difference between post-punk pioneers Hüsker Du and imitators like Overwhelming Colorfast; all the basic musical elements are there, but somehow the copy never learned how to combine taste, subtlety, and style in the manner that made the original so groundbreaking. In other words, Libertine is a fine example of the genre, but neither catches fire nor pounds relentlessly enough to be truly mind expanding. That said, fans of old-school psychedelia might enjoy the Tangerine Dream-esque opening tune's Iron Butterfly-inspired lead guitar and the Keith Relf-style whining of vocalist Gary Ramon. Overall, though, while not a total failure, Sundial's Libertine confuses banality and repetition with the meditative fury that make the best psychedelic music so engrossing.

tags: sundial, sun dial, libertine, 1993, flac,

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