Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, 'Marble Son' (Station Grey)

7
Marble Son
Critical Mass
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Label: Station Grey

by David Menconi

Alternative country, hell. Singer Jesse Sykes' fourth album with guitarist Phil Wandscher is more like alternative universe, a sprawling psych-rock vision that evokes the unsettling moment when you wake up from a half-remembered fever dream. Wandscher (an original member of Whiskeytown) drives the ship with riffage ranging from gently atmospheric to snarling quasi-metallic. Still, it's Sykes' voice that impresses. "It's hard to love, harder not to love," she murmurs on "Servant of Your Vision," sounding like a less-ravagedMarianne Faithfull -- but she's getting there.

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