Sleepy Sun, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound | Chopin Theatre | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Sleepy Sun, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound All Ages Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 26, 9 p.m. 2009

With their debut album, Embrace (All Tomorrow’s Parties), Sleepy Sun make it clear that they’ve dipped their toes in a number of tie-dyed streams. But these San Francisco stoner-rock upstarts blend their influences expertly, instead of skipping from one to the other. Their sound hovers between two centers of gravity, suspended out of time between past and present, with Sabbath-style psychedelia (and a touch of Captain Beyond flair) on one side and the droning riffs and Echoplex worship of Dead Meadow and Comets on Fire on the other. The eight imaginative songs on Embrace snake from piano-driven acoustic excursions to gritty, jammed-out guitar grooves, both draped in waves of sultry, reverb-drenched vocals. All the songs have a winding, episodic feel, with each playing foil to its predecessor, but the album peaks with the nine-and-a-half-minute epic “White Dove”—which builds up enough momentum to sustain a two-minute freak-out that piles vision-quest guitar noise atop a drum solo. Stoner rock is a genre that needs a kick in the balls every now and then to keep it from stagnating, and Sleepy Sun are here to give it one. Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound opens. —Kevin Warwick

Price: $8


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