Donovan's Brain

Tiny Crustacean Light Show

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There's no doubt about it: This psychedelic rock outfit gets better as years go by. On this third effort, Ron Sanchez and company sound once again tighter, better, and more professional than before. But the biggest step forward is found in the writing. The track selection for this album has been focused on rock & roll (the more spaced-out material was held over for the next release), which may make it a bit easier to get into, but the real enjoyment factor at play is found in the melodies -- because these are catchy songs (and you wouldn't have thought about associating that adjective with this band before Tiny Crustacean Light Show came out). The arrangements are also more developed, paradoxically resulting in simpler songs. Sanchez, guitarist Richard Treece, singer Dave Walker, and drummer Seth Lyon form the core of this incarnation of the band, but the usual suspects, including Colter Langan, Kels Koch, Jim Kehoe, Jason McKnight, and Tony Sacco, popped their heads into the studio at one time or another. A couple of songs take things deep into psychedelic territory ("Electric Trains" for instance, along with the album closer, "Dull Grey Days"), but in general things remain concise and punchy. "Northampton" is reminiscent of the Kinks, while "Arnold 4 Souls," "Who's Little Girl," and the title track remind listeners of a time when psychedelic rock songs could climb high on radio charts. The arrival of Walker adds a dose of charisma (or is it teen appeal?) to the group's sound. This album offers very good timeless psychedelic rock, and earns extra points for its title.

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