The Sand Pebbles

Eastern Terrace

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Eastern Terrace is the Sand Pebbles' convincing full length debut. Clocking in at 43 minutes, split halfway between neo-psychedelic songs and soundtrack rock instrumentals, this CD refrains from overdoing it, presenting a clear image of the group. The presence of a (very fine) cover version of Julian Cope's "Out of My Mind on Dope and Speed" is not an innocent move. This group has clear Krautrock influences (listen to "The Sundowner" for a one-chord extended jam) and an appetite for catchy melodies -- two defining characteristics of Cope's songs. For "My Sensation" and "Dirty," singer Andrew Tanner adopts a falsetto that strangely evokes the Rolling Stones on "Miss You." In these and "Moving Too Fast," the group displays their pop sense. Aerial guitars and a medium tempo may not be enough to make these songs stand out, but they give them an interesting modern-day psychedelic flavor. The album is capped by two nine-minute instrumentals, "The Sundowner" and "Charmed." The first one lays down a simple, addictive, and slightly annoying melody over a one-chord vamp (hey, Can used to do the same). Its drum loop sounds a bit awkward, as it is the only appearance of such a trick and feels unnecessary. On the other hand, the second instrumental is five-star neo-psychedelism with a soft Yo la Tengo influence. A good debut overall.

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