Monday, 21 July 2008

Sun Dial - Other Way Out

Whilst this album isn't anywhere near as hard to find as most of the other offerings on this humble blog, I feel that it justifies its place here through sheer greatness.

Sun Dial, though a 'band' in every sense of the word, is in fact a vehicle for Gary Ramon, songwriter, vocalist, and mean acid guitarist. With Ramon at the helm and his band consisting of whoever felt right at the time, Sun Dial released five albums during the early to mid nineties before Ramon disbanded the group to concentrate on producing records for others. A couple more albums appeared when in 2003 Ramon resurrected the Sun Dial name to finish what he'd started. For me, none come anywhere near to matching the psychedelic majesty of 'Other Way Out',
their debut album released on UFO records in 1990.

It's one of the best neo-psych albums around, and is perhaps the one to convince die hard 60s/70s vintage psych freaks that there are indeed some amazing psych albums to be had from the more recent crop of psychedelic bands. 'Other Way Out' contains six tracks of trippy 60s influenced psychedelic rock
(subsequent CD releases succumb to the obligatory and rather annoying extra tracks syndrome, but we're going on the original vinyl here).

This album reeks of LSD. Whether this was because Ramon was actually drowning in the stuff or whether he's got a 2:1 in psychedelia is anyone's guess, but whatever, it works. The lyrics to every track sound like they were written whilst halfway through a dayglo patchouli-scented trip. There's phased vocals weaving in and out of phased drums and liquid wah guitar solos chasing distant flutes into deep space. This isn't an album of meandering and drifting sonic journeys though; five of the six tracks are 'songs' proper, with verse/chorus structures. Only the last track, 'Lorne Blues', a bluesy acid-heavy guitar workout of slow riffing and phased drums, dispenses with the discipline and totally freaks out.

'Other Way Out' is a psych classic and not to be missed.

Track listing:

Side 1

1. Plains Of Nazca
2. Exploding In Your Mind
3. Magic Flight

Side 2

1. She's Looking All Around
2. World Without Time
3. Lorne Blues

Listen to it here, then buy it here


Anonymous said...

I was one of the very lucky few to have witnessed the sheer genius of Sun Dial perform in 1993 somewhere in Kentish Town thanks to an old music journalist friend Mike Bass who knew these guys quite well at the time. Sundial were going to commission my partner, a psychedelic artist, to do their album cover. Unfortunately Ramon's EGO was nauseatingly oversized upon first meeting and my partner said "fuck it" as Ramon couldn't even be bothered to acknowledge Harvey. Nevermind because in saying all that I do regard this album as a masterpiece. Who needs to take acid...just listen to track 2. Out of this world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

paisley Panties said...

Oh my god. I'm one of those classic psych people that hardly ever finds anything post 1974 he thinks is worthwhile. But this thing is amazing.