SIC ALPS play Monday (October 22) at Double Double Land. See listing. Rating: NNN
Typically, when a band self-titles an album that's not its debut, it signals a fresh start or reintroduction. This fifth album from Bay Area rockers Sic Alps has that feel to it. With eyes on the potent San Francisco garage rock scene that's spawned Ty Segall, the Fresh & Onlys and Thee Oh Sees, Sic Alps have the opportunity to rise from the underground to, well, let's be honest, a higher part of the underground.
This album is their least messy and most consistent, but it hasn't left singer/songwriter Mike Donovan's slacker charm behind. Like a lo-fi Pavement-style take on woozy psych rock, it trades Sic Alps' more dissonant tendencies for serene but crunchy rock tunes that sound effortlessly hooky. Opening track Glyphs even features strings from Joanna Newsom arranger Ryan Francesconi. And the change suits them.
Top track: Glyphs