Review: The Sufis – The Sufis
Published on June 13th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
The Tennessee youngsters acknowledged the heavily influence of “British psychedelic music from the mid-to-late-’60s” when we interviewed them last month, and their eagerly awaited debut album is a startling evocation of it all given how old they are and where they hail from. In fact, it’s quite conceivable that this three-piece, signed to Cornershop‘s marvellous Ample Play label, hail from a different planet to their skinny jeans-clad peers from London and New York.
Opener “Where Did She Go” lays the vintage psychedelia on thick, phased vocals dripping trippily/tripping drippily all over drums that stagger and rumble with lucid abandon. This is followed by “Sri Sai Flora”, which sounds a little like “Taxman” having its drink spiked by The Olivia Tremor Control, before “Wake Up” adds ornate clarinet flourishes into the mix and generally comes across, just as its predecessors do, as being not so much kissed by the sun as utterly intoxicated by it. Basically, it trips balls something lovely.
Things then get really quite weird with the discordant, freaked-out instrumental “Lemming Circle Dance”, the paranoid sound collage “In the Ashram”, the fluttery flute ‘n’ bird noises of the hallucinatory “Rosalie’s Garden” and the stoned jam of “Downtrace”, with concessions to a more traditional form of songwriting generally eschewed until “See the Way”, which ticks several psychedelic boxes (woozy harmonies, trill-y Eastern-style guitar, lyrical snapshots such as “elevate your consciousness” and “shiiiiine”) but remains compelling as a whole.
“I Don’t Know” brings us gently out of the trip on tambura drone and slowly trotting percussion, allowing us to reflect on a good debut album from a young band with the potential for greatness. A fine addition to the Ample Play family, overall – their next move should be one to look out for.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!