BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Like a lot of modern-day psychedelic musicians, Ron Sanchez and his project Donovan’s Brain have operated prolifically under the radar for a surprisingly long time. Long enough, to be more specific, to have an entire unreleased album finally seeing the light of day. Recorded in the early 90s, Shambolic and Other Love Songs sat on the shelf while Sanchez worked on other projects, including reimagining DB as a collaborative collective, rather than a one-man-band.
In retrospect, Shambolic constructs the framework on which Sanchez has hung his canvas, piling on sharp acid pop tunes (“Dandelions Are Back,” “Cary Grant,” the Minus 5-like “Hit Me in the Face”) and rich psych rock anthems (“Sleep Deep,” “Holly Green”). Perhaps more meandering than the band’s later work, tracks like “Row Out,” “Perky Pat” and “Pollyanna Disillusioned” dig deep into the psychedelic substrata, providing trips less structured than is the band’s norm. Overall the record provides insight into Sanchez’s early creative vision and will delight fans. Had Shambolic and Other Love Songs been released after it was finished, it might have been seen as the blueprint for DB’s two decade career; as it stands, it’s still of a piece with all of Sanchez’s work.
DOWNLOAD: “Holly Green,” “Cary Grant,” “Sleep Deep”