The Sand Pebbles – “Pleasure Maps” (2017) review
This is a 5 Star Vinyl Worthy body of music …
Pleasure Maps by The Sand Pebbles, their first release in nearly six years floats in on the most beautiful blue vinyl, and if you live outside of Australia, a rather pricey adventure to say the least.
That being said, The Sand Pebbles picked up right where they left off, still delivering blossoming heart and mind felt songs woven from a mystical vision of what it must have been like when the stars aligned and the 60’s flipped on like a neon light where there’d never been one before. In the same breath, I feel as if I’m doing a disservice by harking back to a time of cultural awareness that lives on as some sort of a hazy dream glimmered from scratchy records and bleached yellowed black & white photographs, because The Sand Pebbles really do exist within their own time and space, delivering a fresh bit of sonic intoxication for a new era … but then, with the album concluding with drifting soulful cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin,” [which is available on the CD only] it’s nearly impossible for me or anyone not to nostalgically link this band’s delicious music with that historic past, layered with hauntingly smooth guitars, super vocals, and a sustained sense of wayward adventure.
Pleasure Maps is a stunningly fine album to slip into the Fall with, gathering together a few of those leftover summer rays to warm upturned faces as the beaches empty out, with the music creating a more interpersonal atmosphere of introspection that momentarily brings the world into focus, before exploding like a star-shell, lacing everything with a shimmering strobing fuzzed out vision where nothing is in focus but the music.
This is an album filled with restrained laid-back visionary songs that get better with each listen, songs that dance on the tips of your fingers and tail after you like some lost kitten who knows he’s just found a new home.
*** The Fun Facts: And just what is a Pleasure Map: A Pleasure Map is a drawing of a beautifully naked body with everything visible, all the important sexy body parts. She’s relaxed, she’s happy, he’s seated, and this map isn’t your doctor’s medical textbook. It’s full of suggestions possibilities and ideas. There’s text twined across and over and around, all of which makes some lovely poetic and explicit suggestions … She likes it when you do this, or that, or this other thing.
– Jenell Kesler
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