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The Sonic Dawn – Eclipse Award winner

The Sonic Dawn
by Anton Sanatov at 17 March 2019, 7:57 PM

Punch that clutch and push your DeLorean up to 88mph; we’re going back on this one.

To yearn for times of the past is a plight of every generation - for some reason we always seem to think that things were better, more soulful then; and perhaps some were. The nostalgia effect has a particularly strong presence within the music enthusiasts amongst us. Ask any given melomaniac about their favourite band or musical genus, and they will most likely treat you to a consolidated tirade on how the earlier material within any given instant was far superior to anything the present has to offer.

Alas, it is not always a question of quality, for sometimes if that vintage show fits, then why not wear it into the new millennium – as a lot of bands adopt the styles of the past do. THE SONIC DAWN are a band that don’t just echo of the past, but carry screams of it with every note. The psychedelic Rock group from Copenhagen, Denmark have already laid down some colourful musical history with their previous offerings, and are now inviting us back to the past with their fourth full-length “Eclipse”; so let’s see if anything has changed.

THE SONIC DAWN are one of those bands who’ve built their sound on splashes of vibrant hues and hazy boundaries; think of the “Disraeli Gears” album cover and you’ll get the picture. Yet, just like CREAM before them, the young psychedelic devotees have gone slightly heavier and tighter on their latest LP; just a touch more monochrome, as the title suggests. Nonetheless,

this is a curious album, for on its surface – particularly on tracks like the opening “Forever 1969” - it oozes buckets of “Wheels of Fire” era CREAM and their contemporaries THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE; the latter especially prominent on “No Chaser”. That familiar, vintage sound is alive and kicking here. The grooves bounce, the licks are smooth, and the overall atmosphere screams bell-bottoms.

Nonetheless, the skies don’t seem to be all that sun-kissed, for “Eclipse” is perhaps a touch darker than the band’s previous efforts. However, don’t think that their funky side has gone, for these guys know how to light a fuse even in the dampest of joints. Opting to channel the likes of THE DOORS and JEFFERESON AIRPLANE the band create a paradoxical portrait of sparks within obscurity as they combine melancholy with flower power. Tracks like “Psychedelic Stranger” and “Love Bird” drive this weird train with catchy “L.A. Woman” rhythms, whilst “Circle of Things” and “On The Edge of Our Time” plunge into lakes of spiked enlightenment and channel the presence of “White Rabbit”.

There are also a few curve balls like “The Stranger” and “To Change Who We Are” which come in the form of contemporary counterparts to the likes of CHRIS ISAAK and THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, respectively.

But don’t get this record wrong, for it has a character of its own. Yes, THE SONIC DAWN draw heavily upon their influences, but they do it with such finesse and conviction, that you can’t help but appreciate “Eclipse” as standout record in its own right. The production too, is just marvellous – and that is a word that I don’t use very often. The sound is sweet, clean, tight, and musty in all the right places; whilst the timeless crooning of Emil Bureau lies down perfectly upon the feathery wings of the instrumentation.

Overall – things like this may make you want to remain in the past forever; if it wasn’t for the sub-par living conditions of the times. THE SONIC DAWN continue to pursue their beloved sound on “Eclipse”, and though it may throw some shadow on the sun, it still packs plenty of fire to brighten up your day.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Mmorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

  1. Forever 1969
  2. Psychedelic Ranger
  3. The Stranger
  4. No Chaser
  5. Opening Night
  6. Circle of Things
  7. On the Edge of Our Time
  8. Christiania
  9. The Last Page
  10. Love Bird
  11. To Change Who We Are
  12. Islands in Time
  13. Towards the End
Emil Bureau - Guitar, Vocals, Sitar
Jonas Waaben - Drums, Percussion
Neil Bird - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds


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