Album Review

Gentle Cycle, The – “Landslide Eyes” – [300mics]

Brian Damage   11/7/2022   12-inch, A Library

The description “psych” tends to get tossed around a lot, and more often than not, it’s applied to some dudes with marginal skills that got high in their cousin’s living room and noticed that there was a cheapo Strat copy and a practice amp in the corner.

This is definitely not the case with The Gentle Cycle. Co-founder Derek See has lived the psychedelic music lifestyle for decades – perhaps his whole life. For Derek, every day is Labor Day weekend of 1968. Derek is not only a session musician, but is also a member of The Chocolate Watchband, The Rain Parade, and the Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500) band, and formerly was a member of The Careless Hearts and helmed The Bang! Girl Group Revue.

Landslide Eyes is the second LP from The Gentle Cycle, and evokes the feeling of a late-summer evening in Los Angeles in the late 60s. There’s definitely a peace, love, and happiness vibe going on throughout, with some Byrds, later Monkees, Pet Sounds, and Buffalo Springfield influences. The Gentle Cycle would not have been out of place at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, but they’re definitely not a slavish cover or novelty band. There’s a real love, authenticity, and songcraft here that can only come from the osmosis one gets from full immersion in the music and the scene for decades.

The record does get gradually harder and darker as it progresses, culminating in the harder acid psych of tracks 13 and 14, “Eyes Landslide,” and “Mercury Twins.” All the tracks are killers, but particular standouts are “Like December Is Bold,” “Ivy,” “Landslide Eyes,” and “Let Me Look At The Sun.”

Highly recommended.

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