# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Sic Alps - Napa Asylum

  by Andrew Carver

published: 19 / 2 / 2011

Sic Alps - Napa Asylum
Label: Drag City
Format: CD


Fractured lo-fi pop on fantastic fourth album from San Francisco duo-turned-three piece, Sic Alps

Don’t be deceived by the title of Sic Alps’ latest album, ‘Napa Asylum’, into thinking it’s a tribute to the notorious show by the Cramps to the institute’s mentally troubled residents. The Sic Alps - originally the duo of Matt Harmon and Mike Donovan - have an approach to lo-fi pop seems to be much-emulated in California in general and San Francisco in particular these days. Where folks like Ariel Pink seem to be headed for better-produced territory, the 22 tracks on ‘Napa Asylum’, however, stay strictly in the land of fractured pop nuggets. The band has also been joined by Noel Van Harmonson of Comets on Fire!, but don’t seem to have taken many cues from that band as a consequence - the psychedelic Echoplex blowouts are few and far between, though ‘Trip Train’ does it’s eardrum-roasting best. The band does pull things back a bit on melancholy, folky numbers like the appropriately named ‘Country Medicine’, before turning the echo back on for the fuzzy and to-the-point ‘Do You Want To Give $$?’. The trebly sound is often bass-free, the percussion minimal (don’t expect anything like a drum solo ... even a tom roll may be acting a bit much), but the hooks are catchy, the tunes peppy and the does of fuzz and buzz most generous. If your taste in music runs to bands like Ganglians, Bare Wires, Times New Viking, you’ll find ‘Napa Asylum’ an exemplary listen.

Track Listing:-
1 Jolly
2 Eat Happy
3 Cement Surfboard
4 Country Medicine
5 Do You Want To Give $$?
6 Saint Peter Writes His Book
7 Zeppo Epp
8 Trip Train
9 Ball Of Fame
10 Ranger
11 My My Lai
12 Wake Up, It's Over
13 Meter Man
14 Occult Display
15 Wasted At Church
16 Turtle Soup
17 The First White Man To Touch California Soil
18 Super Max Lament On The Way
19 May Ltd
20 Low Kid
21 March Of The Skies
22 Nathan Livingston Maddox

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