The San Francisco band Sleepy Sun brought the full force of their West Coast style of pscyh rock to bear last Monday night, an ideal counterpoint to the darker, heavier style of Brooklyn’s White Hills, who preceded them on the bill (that recording [HERE]). Playing this show at Glasslands plus a second NYC show at Mercury Lounge the following night to celebrate the release of their third full-length Spine Hits and in an obviously good mood, the band came with amps cranked and ready to rock n’ roll. From the first notes of the show opener, the chugging “Martyr’s Mantra” Sleepy Sun concocted a dialed-in wall of sound that shook the club to its foundations. Fortunately, the band also knows when to slow things down; tempo changes like “Siouxsie Blaqq” and “Sandstorm Woman” show off a different side of the band and give the band’s songwriting a chance to shine.
Sleepy Sun are easily lumped into the ever-broadening “psych rock” category (I think if you’re on ATP Recordings, like they are, it’s almost a given) on the basis of their love of effects pedals and obvious stylistic nods to the late 60s/early 70s San Francisco sound. But live, it’s hard to miss a more mainstream reference – the mighty Led Zeppelin. Drummer Brian Tice is ferocious on the kit, and his playing gives the swirling guitars a backbone of pure power, such as on “Stivey Pond” and “She Rex”. This band also clearly believes in rocking as a concept; frontman Bret Constantino is an intense frontman (so intense that he nearly destroyed one of the club’s high quality monitors in the process!) and he and his bandmates are the kind of band that could easily command a much bigger room. They’re also much more focused on strong songwriting and pop hooks than some of their contemporaries; Spine Hits could easily be an FM radio favorite, if rock radio still existed, and I’m sure it’ll be in rotation on the appropriate SiriusXM/streaming channels, as it’s one of the band’s best albums to date. Here’s to hoping we see them in New York again soon… at this year’s ATP NY, perhaps?
I recorded this set with an excellent soundboard feed from the Glasslands head FOH Josh, plus Schoeps MK22 microphones and a very warm Aerco preamp that captured the sound perfectly. Enjoy!
Thanks as always to the Glasslands team and PopGun Booking for their hospitality.
Stream “Martyr’s Mantra”
Stream “Siouxsie Blaqq”
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Recorded and produced by acidjack
Schoeps MK22>CMC6>Aerco MP-2 + Soundboard >> Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (effects, mixdown, EQ)>Audacity (tracking, set fades, amplify and balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )
01 Martyr’s Mantra
02 Stivey Pond
03 Wild Machines
05 She Rex
06 Siouxsie Blaqq
08 Boat Trip
09 Pigs On L
10 Sandstorm Woman