Mazzy Star - She Hangs Brightly

Mazzy Star's debut, She Hangs Brightly, picks up where Opal's Happy Nightmare Baby left off; merely exchanging Kendra Smith's languorous vocals for the more sultry presence of Hope Sandoval, David Roback continues chasing the neo-psychedelic holy grail he's pursued since his days with the Rain Parade, albeit with mixed success here. After opening with a pair of standouts, the dreamy "Halah" and the garage-inspired "Blue Flower," the album quickly loses focus, and even the group's solid grasp of atmosphere and texture can't overcome the songs' distinctly unmemorable melodies.

If psychedelic music had a voice in '90s post-punk, Mazzy Star may have been its strongest reincarnation. That doesn't necessarily mean that fans of the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead will find the band to their liking, however. Mazzy Star much prefered the dark side of psychedelia, as exemplified by the most distended tracks of the Doors and the Velvet Underground. Their fuzzy guitar workouts and plaintive folky compositions are often suffused in a dissociative ennui that is very much of the 1990s, however much their textures may recall the drug-induced states of vintage psychedelia.

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