The Sadies

Internal Sounds

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At their best, the Sadies have always sounded like the missing link between the 13th Floor Elevators and the Byrds, and it only takes about ten seconds into "The First Five Minutes," the leadoff track from the ballsy, broken, and blisteringly solid Internal Sounds, to back that notion up. The first "official" Sadies album since 2010's equally terrific Darker Circles (the band released three collaborations in between, one with punk-blues legend Andre Williams [Night and Day], one with X-man John Doe [Country Club], and one with familial Canadian bluegrass outfit the Good Brothers [The Good Family Album]; it's also the first Sadies long-player to be produced solely by singer/guitarist Dallas Good -- longtime producer/collaborator Gary Louris [the Jayhawks] gets credit for "vocals coached" and "fortunes read"). Internal Sounds both solidifies and expands on the veteran group's signature tone, beefing up the punk-infused, psych-rock twang without losing any of the technical mastery and subtle nuances of the playing, especially on big, standout cuts like "Another Tomorrow Again," the aforementioned opener, and the stunning Smithereens-meet-Kinks rocker "Very Beginning," the latter of which offers up a hundred reasons why Neko Case and others hold the group in such high regard and so often look to them for help on the stage and in the studio. It's not all "Blood and Roses" and "Powerman," though, as the band's country-folk predilections yield a pair of high and lonesome juke-joint gems in "So Much Blood" and "Leave This World Behind," and a swirling and surreal "Tomorrow Never Knows"-inspired invocation of hope in the Buffy Sainte-Marie-led closer "We Are Circling," proving that might doesn't always require volume.

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