Casting Shadows is an album of mid-‘60s style garage rock complete with reverb-drenched vocals and fuzzy guitar tones. In other words: it’s been done before, and it’s been done a whole lot better. At its best, Shadows is a sound-alike contest for fun, which is all well and good, but it’s really not much more than that. You’ve got the token Eastern-isms of “The Autumn Chateau” and “Patient Sparrow” pointing irritatingly at Revolver-era Beatles, while “Running Through My Mind” is just a flaccid attempt at “Not Fade Away” by the Stones. You can’t fault the Black Hollies for loving the British Invasion, but the lack of originality in this set is another issue. The songs lack depth and whenever there ought to be a little wit, or a weird chord change, or something, all you get is more bland psychedelic blather about “colors and shapes”. Ultimately, you can praise The Black Hollies all you want for their studiousness of the genre, but all that Casting Shadows really suggests is that if you love the garage rock of the 1960s, you’re already looking in all the right places.
// Notes from the Road
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