Electric Shepherd “The Imitation Garden” (2012)
Let us all be sheep...
What if the 80's existed without technological innovations and 70's record production values? Ever since the inception of psychedelic music in the 60's, sound has evolved. The thing is that sometimes that eolution didn't really help more down to earth rock aesthics.
I'm not a fan of the 80's sound. A good song is a good song but glossiness doesn't really help out a song. It makes me wonder what certain songs would sound had they been recorded ten or twenty years before. In a sense, Electric Shepherd's latest record helps me realize that a bit more.
'The Imitation Garden' is heavily soft, with quite a sludgy element but with a finesse that would fit in more 'modern' setting. What do I mean by this? All the psychedelic elements are there but there's a progress into later sounds.
Kicking off with a small intro, the San Francisco combo give us delicate fingerpicking melodies on the first proper track 'The Escapist' before launching into a more jammy territory eventually exploding like a malfunctioning granade in our hand. That's when we take off!
Continuing with smooth guitar lines, we go further into the gardens of the title track. Divided in two, 'The Imitation Garden' has the feel of a certain geezer from Birmingham and again we are treated to dreamy guitar solos that allow us to wander through said gardens. Hopefully there's a way out of the labyrinth but at same time we just want to get to the center of it rather than out of it.
'Angels In The Grove' continues the mellowness and again, though it's seeped in 70's imagery, it's not hard to fathom some elements of Echo And The Bunnymen here and there. Imagine Pink Floyd in the 80's but without the success and that's what you'll get with the following tracks.
At least until midway through 'Heaven Don't Need'. Over here, the Shepherds let it rock out a bit and we get a Sabbath meets Floyd treatment and this goes on into 'Sometimes I Think About'. To close off the record, 'In Search Of The Ocean' gets me back to same question about the 80's. The Chameleons like delays will lead us into full solo regalia and we're left wandering in the sea.
What I believe is probably lacking is a more direct punch track to really kick some energy to the record. Then again, it's all mild in the fields where these sheep are grazing and we have a pastoral solitude of shepherds with electricity in their bones.'
Review made by Carlos Ferreira/2013
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