Music

Sic Alps: U.S. EZ

Even though the band sullies their instruments with fuzzy-psych flavors it’s the tight-knit vocal harmonies that make Sic Alps both palatable and reminiscent of the glory days of '60s psych-folk.


Sic Alps

U.S. EZ

Label: Siltbreeze
UK Release Date: 2008-07-15
US Release Date: 2008-07-24
Amazon
Amazon
iTunes

True to their throwback ‘60s sound San Francisco duo Sic Alps have been releasing music on cassette tapes and 7-inches through the label Animal Disguise for the past couple of years. And although their recent full-length, U.S. EZ, is available in the more modern format of compact disc the group still wallows in similiar territory, this time with the Philly-based label Siltbreeze, the same dude who brought us Eat Skull, Times New Viking, and Psychedelic Horseshit.

Although music writers must shy away from the industry's new four-letter-word, "lo-fi", Sic Alps use a stripped-down approach normally attributed to said term. Their drums are coated with distortion and their dual vocals emerge through a cloud of hissing four-track fuzz. Even though the band sullies their instruments with fuzzy-psych flavors it’s the tight-knit vocal harmonies that make Sic Alps both palatable and reminiscent of the glory days of '60s psych-folk.

On U.S. EZ Matt Hartman and Mike Donovan give us a moderately healthy dose of their hazy psych-folk sound. They ratchet up their jangly distortion with the delicious riffage of “Bathman”, "Mater", and opener "Massive Place", where Hartman's drums sound like they just fell out of a closet. But it’s when they turns the knobs down a bit that the duo’s latent harmonies emerge more clearly. “Gelly Roll Gumdrop”, Everywhere, There”, and "Sing Song Waitress" are lazy and mellowed out, with ghostly harmonies that echo and reverberate like old-school analog.

U.S. EZ should garner enough attention so that Sic Alps won’t be releasing music on casette tapes again. But the band probably prefers the grooves and scratches of a wax record, sounding like they emerged from a dusty old milk crate.

7

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.