Sic Alps – Sic Alps
For their first LP on Drag City, San Francisco’s Sic Alps manage to shoehorn woozy violins, frazzled, treble-heavy guitars, and bursts of atonal feedback into a garage rock template. It’s an approach that somehow combines an authentically retro edge with flourishes of striking originality: Wake Up, It’s Over II, for example, fades out over a chord progression borrowed from Hey Joe, but overlays it with a gleefully strange, bruising clatter.
Elsewhere, much of Sic Alps channels the rambunctious psychedelia of The White Album’s heavier moments: there’s an obsessive attention to detail on tracks like Glyphs, evident in the 60s guitar sound and deliberately wobbly, lo-fi production, but that care is offset by a playful imaginativeness, which ensures Sic Alps are never in thrall to their influences. And as the melancholy, spaced-out Rock Races shows, they have a charisma and assuredness that remains even when the wigged-out riffs are stripped away.