Crash Symbols, 2023

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The Texas psychedelic wizards Sungod fleshed out these 10 very distinct tracks in 2014 and 2016 in Austin, which see founders Michael C. Sharp (guitars, drums, congas, voice, etc.) and Braden Balentine (Moog, mandolin, electric guitar, singing bowls, etc.) welcoming flute and keys to their synth-fueled, prog-heavy and multi-dimensional songcraft.

The listen starts quite mysteriously with the warm, yet cryptic setting of “Valley Of Wonder,” where a light droning and dim buzzing is met with folk-friendly acoustic guitar playing that welcomes Justin Grove on harmonium and bell tree. “Cahokia,” which recruits Nick Lombard (Farfisa Mini Compact), then follows with spacey, sci-fi textures and swift, synthetic drumming that radiates a glowing, inimitable version of electro-pop that you’re not going to hear anywhere else.

The title track arrives in the middle and twinkles with a dreamy expanse of nearly spiritual like ambience, while “White Light/E.S.P” comes with a hazy, cinematic presence that benefits from the firm beat and chilling atmosphere that could soundtrack a late night at the club, as well as an out of body experience to another plane of existence.

Nearing the end, “Burning Time On Mt. McShee” pairs mesmerizing acoustic guitar and spirited electric guitar with a very breezy, New Age-ish backdrop that helps make this the album’s best, though the ender “F.I.L.L.” is a close second. A busy, bright and animated version of electronica and prog-rock, it hosts an anthemic and lively personality that unfolds with precision, adventurousness and a memorableness very specific to Sungod.

This is an extremely detailed affair that touches on cosmic rock, trance bouts, experimental layers and even hints of meditative qualities, with Reaume's well-timed flute prowess and Lombard’s key acrobatics only enhancing the experience for the listener in rich, exciting, and thoughtful ways.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2023 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Crash Symbols, and is used for informational purposes only.