Saturn Return

Sun Zoom Spark

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Saturn Return Review

by Richie Unterberger

Sun Zoom Spark sound like several bands over the course of Saturn Return. There's West Coast-like psychedelia, somewhat in the mold of Quicksilver Messenger Service with a garage electric keyboard on "The Fool"; moody power pop on "Dixie Cups and Valentines"; Pink Floyd-ish slide guitar on "Glow Like Starshine"; a bit of the cool nonchalance of Bob Dylan and Lou Reed in some of the vocals; darkly atmospheric instrumental space rock with searing guitar and narration-in-tongues on "Nocturnum"; instrumental, sleepy Tex-Mex border music that turns into fuzzy hard psychedelia on "Well of Souls"; and journeyman retro-garage-psychedelia on some other numbers. And right after the 13-minute "Nocturnum" has taken you to the edge of the cosmos, there follows an almost non sequitur straight blues-rock cover of Freddy King's classic instrumental "Hideaway." Eclecticism isn't a fault, but it does make it hard to sniff out exactly what these guys are after. Nor are they exceptional at any one style. Saturn Return is just a pleasant-enough consolidation of hip strains of rock, usually owing debts to movements of the '60s and '70s, with a less-than-sunny tint than many of the bands working in similar areas radiate.

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