AT NO OTHER TIME in American history has experimentation and sweeping social change accelerated so quickly as the 1960s. It was a decade that left a brand on culture (a scar, some might argue) and since the very nanosecond when the Love Generation picked its final flower, creative types have revisited its art and music and gave birth to their own versions, from the Dadaist re-imaginings of the Elephant Six Collective to the arena sheen of British revivalists like Blur and the Gallagher brothers.
Still, few have cooked up quite the consummate "Whole Meal Deal" as Silver Sunshine. The boys in this San Diego quartet graze in radiant, Floyd-colored pastures, complete with astral guitar wailings, prismatic effects washes, and pulsing Mersey beat rhythms. Well-crafted songs, tight harmonies, huge psychedelic tones, paisley shirts: Silver Sunshine have it all nailed.
These Californian flower children don't see themselves as simply repeating the past, though: "Just the fact that we all have different influences and we all contribute to the writing and composing of our songs makes us more than a retro act," says guitarist Richard Vaughn. "We take what we love from the original psychedelic and progressive era, throw it in a blender, and see what comes out."
Indeed, it's the band's seamless mastery of both string-doused acoustic balladry and muscular Brit-rock anthems that set them apart as powerhouses of the neo-'60s genre. Newer gems like "Winter Witch" are adrift with splashes of Mellotron and Arcadian flute visions, opening up the foursome's tonal palette wider still.
"I think our first album was definitely influenced by the sunny skies of Southern California, but our new material and live set is a bit darker," says Vaughn. "It seems our inspiration has moved from the green fields into the weird woods."