Fly Golden Eagle

Quartz Bijou

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Quartz Bijou is the truncated, single-disc version of the 2014 double album (simply called Quartz) by Nashville psych-rock combo Fly Golden Eagle. The brainchild of former Detroiter Ben Trimble, the band became a significant player in Nashville's indie underground scene with the release of its 2011 debut Swagger. Trimble's devotion to garage and funk-influenced psychedelia further manifested itself as the group set up shop in an abandoned college in Texas to record what would end up being an album inspired by Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973, Beatles-supported avant-garde film The Holy Mountain. The full two-hour version of Quartz is, in fact, meant to be played alongside the film. Haven't seen The Holy Mountain? You're not alone and, fortunately, it's not a prerequisite for absorbing or enjoying Quartz Bijou. Obscurist tendencies aside, Fly Golden Eagle do manage to deliver some entertaining '60s and '70s-influenced rock, stacked with horns, chirping organs, a meaty rhythm section, and all manner of Nuggets-worthy guitar tones. Comparisons to ATO labelmates the Alabama Shakes are apt as the two bands have frequently toured and collaborated together. Elements of Detroit garage surface as well, especially on the White Stripes-esque thump of "Stepping Stone." Stand-out cuts like the groovy "Magic Steven" and "Medicine Hat" show a band with plenty of creative spirit, but as a whole, Quartz Bijou struggles to distance itself from either its influences or the multitude of other bands dishing out similarly vintage-sounding neo-psychedelia in the indie rock world. Nevertheless, the songs here are generally fun, the playing solid, and the production appropriately trippy.

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