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Cheval Sombre

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Album Review

If Cheval Sombre's debut album has a classically hazed and drifting flow that suggests Spacemen 3 more than once, the fact that Sonic Boom helped record the album demonstrates that it's a debt Sombre is more than happy to acknowledge. Boom plays a slew of the instruments (along with guests and fellow drone/psych spirits Dean & Britta), but what Sombre brings to his work is a nice twist on the usual expectation that anything following in the vein of the Rugby psych legends would be brain-melting feedback. Sombre instead prefers the gentler, contemplative side of things, his vocals a soft whispered croon, as shown right from the start with "It's a Shame." As a result, his album feels much more of a piece with Mazzy Star's hushed dramatics and, perhaps inevitably, Sonic Boom's own work, "I Sleep" in particular sounding like it should be a full-on early Spectrum outtake. Sombre's sources of inspiration come from more than just that, however — three songs are covers, two being traditionals and the third, "Hyacinth House," being a lesser-known song by the Doors given a lovely, stately rendition. The feeling of the album is of a piece throughout, but where lack of variety sometimes makes a collection of songs a drag, the sonic and creative consistency throughout Cheval Sombre sets its own lovely mood — the gentle changes between quicker numbers like "Julie Don't Go Down" and "I Found It Not So" and the calmer "I Get Around" (not a cover!) create their own gentle logic.

Customer Reviews

Jim is smiling

I have never seen or heard anyone ever do a cover of Hyacinth House. That song is one of the great lost treasures from the Doors, LA Woman, I think. That being said this is some pretty good hippy dippy shoe gaze barely moving drone music. Nice stuff.

Cheval Sombre, Cheval Sombre
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Customer Ratings