The Adventure Continues - The Smoking Trees

The Smoking Trees ‎SKU: BRGR1275



The Smoking Trees' 2018 album The Adventure Continues is the first since the duo became a solo act with the departure of L.A. AL. That left Sir Psych in total control, free to steer the ship as he pleased. Unsurprisingly, he chose to chart a course very similar to the one plotted out on previous Smoking Trees' records. The album is sugary psych pop with willowy melodies surrounded by backwards guitars, humming organs, buzzing sitars, wheezy Mellotrons, lots of jangle, and gently stuttering drums. Topped off with Sir Psych's gently weird vocals and trippy lyrics, it's a decidedly retro voyage that almost falls prey to the law of diminishing returns, but ultimately the guileless charm of the songs and the enveloping sonic haze that never lifts work to make the album a decent successor to The Archer and the Bull. At times, the album feels generic, like Sir Psych is merely going through the paisley motions. Some songs, like "More Than Friends," drift aimlessly when they should dazzle, "Psychedelic Sunset" is a little too on the nose, and too many of the songs never really get started. Sir Psych is definitely skilled at crafting sounds -- it feels like maybe he needs L.A. AL's help with the songs. That being said, most of the album's 16 songs are a pleasant trip. "Dear Sun" spins lazily like a late summer ferris wheel ride, "Come Sundown" has a rollicking good-time feel that's offset nicely by the off-tempo drums, and there are lots of songs that fall just on the right side of drowsy. Sir Psych probably should have spent a little more time adding hooks to the mix instead off turning off his mind and floating upstream; that little bit of effort could have made the record essential instead of pleasantly optional.

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