The Resonars' Bright and Dark, released on the Get Hip label in 1999, was the second album by this Tucson "group," but actually features only leader Matt Rendon playing all of the instruments on these four-track recordings (made at his Coma Cave home studio). This modern-day cubist rocker snips bits from this genre and that one, pasting them together to create something that sounds like a long-lost artifact from the mid- to late '60s. Rendon's key influences, evidently, are rock bands, folk-rock artists, and British Invasion groups of that halcyon era, including — but certainly not limited to — the Byrds, the Easybeats, and especially the Hollies ("Carrie Don't Care" could be a continuation of the Hollies' "Carrie Ann"). The mod-psych influence of early Who (especially Rendon's manic Keith Moon-style drumming) and Rubber Soul to Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles is also evident here, due in no small part to Rendon's fascination with soaring multiple harmonies, or, as one writer accurately described it at the time: "Picture The Notorious Byrd Brothers combined with Hollies harmonies and "Rain"-era Beatles psychedelic touches." "Goodbye Melanie" has a Middle Eastern flair, and the sped-up cover of "I'll Keep It With Mine" features ringing Byrds-style guitars (quoting liberally from Them's "Here Comes the Night") and octave-leaping vocals. "If He's So Great" is another Byrds-inspired track with ringing 12-string Rickenbackers, while "Under the Blazing Stars" references "Eight Miles High." Most of Rendon's songs are upbeat and buoyant, handsomely crafted and fleshed out with herky-jerky tempo changes, but there are a few exceptions. "Bathyscope," for instance, is a warm psychedelic pop gem awash in wavering layers of vocal effects laden with echo. -AMG
If you like "Bright and Dark" get it here!