Sun Kil Moon, 'April' (Caldo Verde)

6
April
Critical Mass
Label: Caldo Verde

by Shannon Zimmerman

Powered by mordant but melodic vocals, authoritatively finger-picked guitar, and what sounds like a lifetime supply of sleeping pills and booze, Sun Kil Moon may be the most convincingly bummed-out '70s-era Neil Young tribute band ever assembled. On their third album, this San Francisco–based, Mark Kozelek–led bunch stumble over saccharine set-opener "Lost Verses" (which channels icky Young wannabes America with less success than Midlake) en route to a beautifully depressing array of funereal folk. Best bet: "Tonight the Sky" -- sound familiar? -- which hitches Kozelek's worn-out, wasted voice to crunchy Crazy Horse chords.

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