Rose Windows – The Sun Dogs
This Seattle septet anchor their sound in the shamanistic explorations and bruising riffs of psych and stoner rock: the sonic texture of The Sun Dogs is unapologetically retro, but there’s a vitality, confidence and dynamic variation here which makes it remarkably distinctive. The LP shifts between the kind of brooding drone-folk associated with Six Organs of Admittance or Espers (see Spirit Modules, Season of Serpents), and gloriously chunky Deep Purple-esque riffage (Native Dreams).
The roughness and immediacy with which The Sun Dogs’ elements are interwoven is key to its character: flute, strings and organ, combined with some darkly atmospheric male backing vocals, are alternately laid over narcotic heavy rock grooves and ritualistic folk. Ultimately however, it’s Rabia Shaheen Qazi’s arrestingly powerful, Grace Slick-style vocals that welds these constituents together. Rose Windows demonstrate that, in the right hands, it’s still possible to conjure new life with the tools of classic rock.