(This review first appeared in issue #66 of Shindig! magazine.)
Skeleton Key CD / LP
“Times change and we move on” sing Niamh Rowe and Fiona Skelly on album opener 'Before The Storm'. Indeed they do. The Sundowners have blossomed from their Byrdsian roots into confident, forceful purveyors of contemporary psychedelic rock. Cut The Master, their second long player is in part produced by The Coral's James Skelly and Finders Keepers supremo Andy Votel, with the latter providing short cinematic interludes between the tracks. A nice touch which aids the album's flow but it's the band and the songs that are the real stars here.
Space-rock, folk-rock, sinewy bass-lines, propulsive beats and a synthy ambiance combine into a truly special brew. And then there's those dual female vocals. Low points? There aren't any. This is modern psychedelia at it's best, an album that hits big with analogue textures and timeless melodies. The Wirral five-piece have stepped up. There must be something in the water up there!