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  The Sound Of The Color Of The Sun  
  Sonic Unyon  
Release Date:
  22 January 2002  
Reviewed by:

The Sound of the Colour of the Sun is a lovely album in the spacerock vein. Think Spaceman 3, early Pink Floyd, maybe some Slowdive, and of course, the guitar of Robin Guthrie. The sound is a wall of guitar that has been fed through dozens of effects pedals. It echoes, chimes, wails, and screams with distortion. It drips out of the speakers and sits, an icky mess of guitar drool, puddling in front of the speakers.

I eat that stuff up, so this is a great album for me. You might not like it so much. Depends on how you feel about guitar distortion.

This album reminds me a lot of that Datura Dream Defferred disc i recommended that you download a whle back. The connection is stylistic as well as geographic: both bands come from the greater Toronto area. However, SIANspheric is one of the precursors of the Toronto Space-rock scene. They have been around since 1994, so i suppose that a lot of the other bands in this spirit are influenced by them. This album is sort of a reunion disc, as wayward guitarist Paul Sinclair has returned to the fold. It is also their first album proper since 1998 (discounting 1999's outtakes, remixes, and live tunes collection Else). So what have they got for you, you ask?

They have returned with what might be their strongest album yet. It's an amazing morass of distorted sound and echoed, "barely heard in the mix" vocals.

At times SIANspheric get into the distortion that lies past the echo. Sometimes this works (like in the middle of the album's opener, Audiphone) and sometimes it doesn't (like the gratuitous noise-fest that dominates QFD. I know that loud fuzz is one of the things that separate the serious spacerock bands from those wussy dream-pop acts, and SIANspheric clearly want to be spacerock. To Myself and Tous Les Soirs are both loud distorted rockers, for fans of Verve, Jesus & Mary Chain, or Spaceman 3. These are good tunes, and if i had hair i'd be head banging along with them.

Despite their prowress with noisy rocking out, it is the quiet moments of ecstatic guitar chiming that draw me most to this album. Songs like Radiodiffusion, Slightly Less Sunshine, and Ending is Better than Mending are achingly beautiful, built out of delicate layers of guitar. In fact, Radiodiffusion will stand, for me, as an all-time highpoint of spacerock songcraft. This particular song features an amazing rhythm built out of deep bass riffs and prominant high-hat buried under guitar and echoed voice. And then, at the end, the song fades out slowly, only to be reborn as a distorted, mangled, and beautiful verson of Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want from The Smiths. (It took me many listens to identify what they were playing there.) Simply amazing.

What might make the lighter tracks stand out is that you can actually hear the rhythm section on these tunes. Normally, bass and drums are there, but so buried under rampant chording that it is easy to lose them. However, when the songs are stretched out, the rhythm really shines through. The drummer and the bassist combine to create some amazing riffs here, when they can.

So really -- if you like psychedelic, spacey guitar noise, you should pick this up. It will be a great addition to your collection.

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