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Album Review

Water, Skooshny's third full-length offering, is a heavier effort overall and sounds not quite as inspired and upbeat as their previous releases. The L.A.-based power pop trio — augmented here by studio guest musicians and friends — composed nine of the songs on this ten-song CD and offers up a rather uninspired indie rock-sounding cover of Gene Clark's "For Me Again" (the original version appeared on the Byrds' Preflyte album). Guitarist/lead vocalist Mark Breyer's voice — reedier and thinner on earlier group efforts — sounds somewhat deeper and morosely serious in tone throughout, and the sequencing — back and forth, light and dark — makes for a difficult listen. A musky "Flawed" introduces the album with a challenging and somewhat darker, guitar-oriented sound that portends to what will follow. The next track, "Sad Summer Spring," is a pretty Byrds-inspired ballad that is surely one of the band's better efforts, but it sounds out of place amid these mostly downcast psych-folk ditties. "No for Yes," the next track, is a dusky, solo, Arthur Lee-inspired number with Breyer's vocals growling intently and purposefully. "Lullabye," an echo-filled psych-pop song, brings the mood back up a notch, even though its somewhat out-of-place whistling solo, spoken vocals in the background, and dramatic guitars make for a cluttered listen. "Desert Rain" is another Arthur Lee/Love-inspired ballad, with robust and nostalgic affection for the melodic crunch of the British Invasion era and postmodern melancholia that is similar to bands like the Smithereens and Rain Parade. "Kate's Green Phone," recorded in 2000, features lead guitar riffage by guest musician Andy Colquhoun (of Mick Farren & the Deviants), though his blistering, metal-tinged, and squirrelly solo is entirely inappropriate for the song, sounding like something you might expect from Def Leppard or U2. The album ends with "The Water Song," a much better effort, thankfully, with nice trumpet accents and heartfelt Spanish-style guitars.


Formed: 1971 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Skooshny is an L.A.-based psych-folk-pop trio who originally came together in 1971, a time that singer/guitarist Mark Breyer later said was "too late for the Byrds, too early for R.E.M." Breyer and drummer David Winogrond had been in a Chicago-area trio, Brevity, before moving to L.A. in the early '70s to try their luck on the West Coast. They met guitarist/keyboardist Bruce Wagner after placing an ad in a music publication and he continued to be an on-again/off-again member. Rehearsals proved to...
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Water, Skooshny
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