There are certain sounds that we immediately associate with the 1960s. Elements of psychedelic texture, breeds of guitar riffs, tones of warbly tenor vocals. These sounds are so absorbed in the cultural osmosis that I can't hear variable lag in a track without thinking of the Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd. And while it's fantastic that these complex interplays of sound waves and established sonic engineering tinkerings can evoke worlds of memory and emotions at will, it also makes it hard to appreciate when bands do something new within those established and hallowed corridors. And Dustin Lovelis
is sheer alchemy, transitioning those beloved sonic evocations into something new.
Yes, Dustin Lovelis sounds like Revolver
-era Paul McCartney. Yes, the guitars jangle like the Byrds. Yes, psychedelic swirls abound like it was a party at Ken Kesey's Merry Prankster abode in La Honda, California. But there's a degree of understatement here that Lovelis's more bombastic forebears rarely achieved. An adult sense of restraint and limitations. This isn't psychedelic 60s pop for those that are on the bus
-- you might have needed to read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
to grasp where I'm going here -- but for those that have graduated but still want to escape into that beautiful, consciousness-expanding world.
is psychedelia, vintage-rock minus pretension or affectation. Yes, you can't hear these songs without thinking of his musical forebears. That's how inspiration works. But whereas so many acid-tinged bands feel as if they're desperately trying to imitate the bands they loved, Lovelis music feels like a natural extension of his interests instead of homages to specific acts. For those that want a record to unwind to this weekend, it's hard to think of a better way to do so.