Based in Portland via Oregon, fronted by Evan Way The Parson Red Heads are a quartet guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of any with even a passing affection for such classic late 60s outfits as Jefferson Airplane, Love, Buffalo Springfield, CS&N and The Byrds. A musically simpatico Scott McCaughey is behind the knobs for Orb Weaver, their third album which takes you back to those psychedelic underground days right from the opening (after a brief instrumental intro) number, To The Sky, with its bubbling bass line, acid haze ambience and close harmonies.
The same sensibility informs Small Change, the sun-drenched pop of I Never Sleep, Times with its echoes of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams and The Zombies’ Time of The Season, the Byrdsian I Never Sleep and the Rickenbacker jangle of Borrow Your Car on which guitarist Sam Fowles sings lead. Elsewhere Lost Again is a headier swirling power pop brew of tumbling drums and plangent guitar reverb and Beginning offers dreamily cosmic six minutes of entwining vocals from Way and drummer wife Brett Marie.
The album closes (save for a brief drone coda) with the lengthy ballad Give Yourself Away, a slow, gradually swelling narcotic drift of chiming guitars, organ and dynamic drumming that sounds like it could be jammed even longer live. There’s a whole battalion of bands out there making this sort of retro rock, but the Red Heads are carrying the flag not following it.
Review by: Mike Davies
Out Now on Blue Rose