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Haight-Ashbury, Perhaps (Lime)




Almost four decades after the phenomenal success of Bohemian Rhapsody, with post- modernism wrapped in a blanket and buried in a shallow grave beneath a privet hedge, pastiche has never witnessed a lower trough than on Glasgow trio Haight-Ashbury's third album. Which is not to say Perhaps is an unlistenable set. The choralism, plangent guitars and avowedly unfussy playing – all swathed in gargantuan reverb – make for a euphoric if innocuous sound redolent of pretty much anything produced by Phil Spector and everything such recordings sparked down the line, notably the Jesus And Mary Chain and Spirea X. The concern here is that so few new ingredients have been thrown into the pot, what's left is fundamentally a lyrically feeble, musically necrotised tribute to the psychedelic high points of late 1960s and early 70s west coast USA – recorded in the second decade of the 21st century. On the plus side, reservations are temporarily obliterated by standout track Alibis, a heartbreaking mix of stoned FM rock, the doomed tristesse of ABBA and a chord progression worthy of peak-period Neil Young.

Sean Guthrie

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