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Despite the name, LES ANNÉES (“The Years”) hail not from France, but from Sydney, Australia. Not to mention another time, specifically that period in the mid-80s when the underground rock & roll scene was shifting from punk and postpunk to psychedelic rock, as exemplified by ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN in the U.K. and the so-called Paisley Underground in the States. Bandleader STEVE THOMPSON definitely favors that era in his writing and performance, but to my ears that’s a good thing. Thompson’s hazy, shimmering acid pop nails the lysergic sensuality of the original wave of neo-psychsters, letting fuzz and jangle cohabitate in a house of melody on “San Francisco Now,” “Catherine Fields” and “Coma Baby Live.” Les Années may not be particularly original, but there’s no need for it to be when it’s pso psatisfying.
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