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Sic Alps: Sic Alps (Drag City) 

Sic Alps sound here like they did on 2011's well-received Napa Asylum. Listeners may argue among themselves whether the English accent is real or not. (It's not.)

Sic Alps starts with "Glyphs," which has a T. Rex feel, with Marc Bolan's ghost looming large over the proceedings. Making out the lyrics is difficult, as it is with about half of the album, but my best guess is the song is about drugs. The short guitar solo is perfect, with subtle strings adding volumes to the noisy twang.

"God Bless Her, I Miss Her" is more T. Rex glam-swank, and the guitar work is even better. The awkward "Lazee Son" sounds like a heroin party with Skip Spence and Anton Newcombe. It might as well be a solo track by Sic Alps co-founder Mike Donovan.

The album floats by in a haze of reverb and nice guitar and drum tones until the eighth song: "Moviehead" is a masterpiece that would have smoked as a 45 in '69, or provided a breath of fresh air on 8-track in '75. The song that follows, "Rock Races," is the longest on the album and sounds like the "White Album"-era Beatles attempting something resembling Neil Young's Tonight's the Night. It's not for the attention span-deprived, but it is good.

Sic Alps is uneven, but it certainly has its moments.

More by Bobby Carlson

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