Beachwood Sparks – Tarnished Gold

January 01, 1970

(Sub Pop)


“This goes out to my good friends,” says Farmer
Dave Scher, over a swirl and twang of psychedelic country guitars that has been
missing for nearly a decade. The Beachwood Sparks, last convened in 2003, are
back as if they never left, spinning trippy goodtime vibes, ethereal
metaphysics and slacked out California


As before, Chris Gunst finds mystic
reverberations (and perhaps some mystic chords) in the natural world, tracing a
geological timeline in a mollusk shell (“Mollusk”). Erstwhile Frausdot Brent
Rademaker returns to plain-picked country sincerity in “Talk about Lonesome,” while
Scher’s wistful pedal steel cuts an arc through eddies and currents of tone. As
in the heyday, cuts like “Leave the Light On”, “Forget the Song” and “Tarnished
Gold” begin in reticence and open up into horizon-spanning day-glo California psych.


Still, there’s a sadness, a backwards-looking
air to Tarnished Gold that’s new. Once
the Sparks’
hallucinatory trippery signaled youth’s endless possibilities. Now their songs,
even the new ones, are filtered through a golden, dust-moted, late afternoon


DOWNLOAD: “Tarnished Gold,” “Sparks Fly Again” JENNIFER



review also appears in the latest print edition of BLURT.

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