Sometimes as a metal fan you just need to spread your wings a little and expand your mind and definition to what constitutes ‘metal.’ Most psych rock bands exist on the outer fringes of the metal world, like a tribe of ancient hunter-gatherers in a world of fast cars and high rises. There’s is a world where sonic expressions are often meant as a stream of consciousness that most other musicians regularly temper for just reasons. For Connecticut’s Sun Dagger that stream of consciousness is not only very real, it’s result in the form of new EP, Invisible World, is “five improvised jams culled from a range of dates and altered states.”
Sun Dagger are a bit of an enigma even within their own backyard, picking up the random show here and there and perpetually living on the verge of having an actual recorded output. Yet every live experience is just that – an experience. A face-melting, mind-altering experience. So it has been with bated-breath that their fans have patiently waited for something, anything to appease the desire to join them on their musical journeys while waiting for the next live excursion to go down. 2016 may have already seen the death of several prominent rock stars, but it has also finally bore witness to the birth of a proper Sun Dagger release.
Sun Dagger exist somewhere between the hippie aesthetics of 13th Floor Elevators and the more metallic undertones of acts like Acid Mothers Temple. The album begins and ends with the two heaviest (and longest) offerings. The album opening, title track, especially, digs down to deep, somewhat shadowy places where the world turns just a little slower and all of life’s idiosyncratic beauty is on display. Album closer “In-A-Tie-Dye-Da-Vida” is a slightly more mellow affair than its fellow 10+ minutes long book end, but in this case mellow doesn’t mean lacking in both serious musical chops or being able to transport the listener to different places and times. Meanwhile the three tracks in between, while more direct and focused, are also steeped heavy in a brew of experimental jazz, shoegaze, and the blues before being regurgitated back into the void in technicolor puddles.
This is certainly not the heaviest album you’ll come across this year, but it’s certainly one of the more captivating. While Sun Dagger are seemingly ambling along on their own psychedelic trip, it’s not a directionless one. There is purpose here and the purpose is to invite you into their world, their collective experience. It’s a powerful trip and one that is highly recommended you pack your bags for post haste.
Invisible World is available to both experience and purchase at the Sun Dagger Bandcamp page.