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THE STRIPED BANANAS: Like Forces Of Nature Passionately At Play!

To refresh memories and especially for those who never read the previous review about a year ago on The Striped Bananas self-titled debut album, we wrote:  “If you cut your Rock-N-Roll teeth back in the psychedelic 60′s, then this is your music. Excellent major/minor key interplay with gorgeous harmonies, soulful lyrics and a variable line-up of very well played instruments makes this album a listening delight for psychedelic rock fans. Unlike so many groups, The Striped Bananas’ songs are packed with dynamic changes in volume and tempo, and structured with an array of succulent chord patterns and guitar riffs.”

The Striped Bananas are a 3 piece psychedelic group, currently located in Baltimore, Maryland, and made up of members Duncan Shepard– (Vocals, Guitars, Sitar, Organ, Bass and Theremin), Chantelle Lussier– (Vocals, Keyboards, Piano and Percussion) and Andrew Lowden– (Vocals, Drums and Percussion).

Now on the sophomore release, The Striped Bananas take their original repertoire a couple of steps further down memory lane, experimenting with luscious pop harmonies once used by The Hollies, The Tremeloes, The Turtles, The Four Seasons and a host of other 60’s and 70’s pop, rock and folk bands.

The youth of America had a musical divide in the early sixties. While the West Coast soft beach harmonies of the Beach Boys were in full swing, the youth of the East Coast was stomping to the harder edged harmonies of The Four Seasons. The Striped Bananas grab the best of both of those worlds and bring it into the 21st century, together with their own psychedelic rock rhythms and riffs. The result is a mesmerizing album that collocates itself somewhere between then and now, in a timeless zone that only truly classic albums are allowed into. And “Lady Sunshine” easily makes the cut. Not bad for a modern day indie band!

The album contains twelve tracks that will take you back and forth on rock’s timeline in an endless perpetual swing, where you will lose all cognition of exactly in which period you are living. The sound here is not copied or cheaply emulated in anyway. The Striped Bananas create originals that are so authentic sounding, you’d think they were produced by 60’s revolutionary Producer Phil Spector, using his hallmark “Wall of Sound” techniques.

The Striped Bananas are certainly a one-of-a kind band, and I haven’t heard anybody else handling this genre with quite the same authenticity as this band does. The depth and insight of the music on their tracks are unprecedented. “Lady Sunshine” is a really magnificent album; every song on it is good. You really need to pick up this wonderful piece of distinct music. This band sounds like absolutely no one else!

The guitar, keyboard and rhythm section are perfectly matched with the vocal parts and everything here is inventive, tasteful, and moves throughout like forces of nature passionately at play. The engineer and producer have mixed the parts together and dialed in just the right amount of reverb to capture the ambience perfectly. In fact everyone involved with this album has done their jobs very, very well.

Standout tracks like “Dark Peace”, “Lady Sunshine”, “Wednesday Morning”, “Oasis Of Time”, “World Can’t Be Won” and “Mistress Of Existence” captures the genesis of one of the most creative periods of music – the fabulous psychedelic era, and the heady days of Grateful Dead, Quicksilver, Moby Grape and The Doors. Forty years on, and this music never sounds dated…especially in the caring hands and voices of The Striped Bananas.

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