The Stephenson Ranch Davidians - Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

..once you get past the first track (which I did find too bloody mawkish) this LP opens up beautifully; and don't be fooled by the general vibe - there are also rocky moments on here, the band are very much tipping their titfers at the ‘Airplane or Buffalo…

 

The Stephenson Ranch Davidians - Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs http://www.thedavidians.com/

 

Psychedelic.

 

Within three seconds there's a sitar creeping insidiously into the background of Let It All Go. What with lyrics saying that there are "too many people talkin' to me", conjuring up images of a wise hippy camp leader eschewing the advice of the common herd... It does feel like cultish music, the press release is soaked in quasi religious (and suitably vague) language and musically it's pretty much in thrall to the likes of Spiritualised and all they copied; all things that normally would have me sharpening my pen.

 

Yet, yet... Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs is a very charming, sincere set, very much like Mass in F Minor, another record that could also have fallen flat on its face and yet won through triumphantly. Stand out tracks are the beautiful Better Day and the mesmerising Subliminalover, which frankly do stoner '60s country rock better than the competition

 

Indeed, once you get past the first track (which I did find too bloody mawkish) this LP opens up beautifully; and don't be fooled by the general vibe - there are also rocky moments on here, the band are very much tipping their titfers at the 'Airplane or Buffalo... Nature Boy is a fabulously half-arsed rockin' stroll in the best Californian tradition.

 

Elsewhere I detect notes of Galaxie 500 (but then who doesn't these days) in the slightly over-sincere Nothings Cliche and in In Between Everything which is a great growling work-out that lumbers around for a good six minutes. No Tomorrow wraps everything up in fine style with a magisterial six minute work out.

 

Great stuff. I wasn't expecting that.

 

Words: Richard Foster