Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Lucky Bishops - Grinstone - 2002


On Grimstone the Lucky Bishops continue to make quality music that recalls vintage psychedelic and power pop styles. While not breaking new ground in those genres, which might be impossible to do at any rate in 2002, the songs and execution are much better and more varied than those of more earnest revivalists of those genres. Late-'60s and early-'70s progressive pop-psychedelia, more British- than American-influenced, are their touchstones far more so than garage rock. "You Come Alive" and "Napoleon" are pretty rousing, upbeat fusions of Who-like swirl with a more harmony- and pop-based attack, and "The Children" has the kind of swirling organ that went out of style around the last time Traffic broke up. There's a constant sunniness to the melodies and vocals that manages to stop a little short of the cutesy and cloying, with songs such as "In Everything I Saw" and "Wait for No One" recalling aspects of Brian Wilson and Todd Rundgren without sounding too reverential. It's a nice listen, though not penetrating enough (more evidently in the lyrical than the musical department) to rate as a major statement. -AMG

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