Mon 5th February 2018
This is a fine slab of heavy psych, five long tracks occupying more than 40 minutes, from the Brooklyn trio River Cult.
A raw and loose Dead Meadow vibe opens up, on Likelihood of Confusion, as the vocals enter there's a more direct stoner rock warm fuzz sound, a psychish middle section follows, extends, flowers with the sounds of nature to a chilled drawn out end. The Sophist is even better, a bold statement, reminiscent of the grand stoner doom plains of Elder, it patiently glimmers, moving slowly through the gears, surveying and relaying the scene at each point of its twelve minute journey.
They change tack slightly on Seething, and tune the doom specific elements up a notch, instrumental Pentagram worship that trudges through, although it admittedly tires before its end. It is a minor blip - the title track that follows is fantastic, sounding deliciously retro - a given for music of this type sure, but more than that, as if an unearthed proto-doom record long lost finally seeing the light. It all goes kaleidoscopic, with guitars twinkling, the steady pulse of the rhythm section, the spacey synths, before reducing to a delicate ending. A gorgeous track all round.
It closes with Point of Failure, a more open upbeat sound, The Picturebooks or All Them Witches styled psych rock, although with a harder kick in the chorus. All in all Halcyon Daze, with its deft knack of dipping into the closely related yet determinedly different pools of doom, heavy psych and a raw garagey stoner rock clouding the album in a colourful and suspiciously smelling haze, is rather sumptuous.