by Lee DeVito
Since forming in 2005, the artists formerly known as SikSik Nation have built a homegrown following based on the strength of their trippy live shows. Now the band returns with a new LP of psychedelically seductive rock 'n' roll, complete with a gender-bending name change to go along with it. Rechristened Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, the new name (which perhaps fairly invokes fellow stoner rockers Queens of the Stone Age) coincides with their self-titled re-debut, recorded and mixed in the band's new home studio in Ypsilanti. Although it's garnished with plenty of studio effects and guitar noodling, the songs never abandon their organic quality; in other words, unlike most every other heavy-hitter in this genre, the material doesn't slip into some kind of super-spacey cosmic jamming.
The band also never ceases to sound like a trio. Although they sound huge on songs like the opener "Lord Is My Gun," with its monster organ-riff and creepy background tremolo vocals, there remains a stripped-down quality to all these songs, led by frontman Sean Morrow's ragged, almost bluesy vocals. And while everything on the record shares the same dark, psychedelic elements, there's is dynamism: "Spaceman Blues" creeps up on the listener, building its sparse beginnings into a full-on freak-out, while "Victims of Momentum" immediately hits full force with a dancey bassline and hi-hat added to the mix. As a listening experience, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor should connect with the seemingly disparate crowds of both garage and the more technically inclined Guitar Center lurkers.
Lee DeVito reviews music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.