[sic] Magazine

Radiation Flowers – Summer Loop EP

Seven tracks and north of 30 minutes in combined length, Summer Loop is exactly the kind of EP to reignite the debate among purists about what precisely constitutes an extended vs. a long player. Certainly there are shorter LPs so it’s the track number that probably does for them here, but when the dust settles though, discussion perhaps ought to focus on genre rather than format as Summer Loop is a hotchpotch of influence trying to find a home and yet in doing so finds itself at risk of being turned away from the doors of almost every inn. Shoegaze, neo-psych, indie, kosmiche, stoner rock and even a little bit of country, Summer Loop’s varied run-time makes for a dark and confusing day-dream, but a day-dream all the same rather than a nightmare.

With just a split 7” alongside The Orange Revival to their name since the five-piece’s 2015 debut as Radiation Flowers (formerly Powder Blue), it’s suddenly like all your Christmases come at once come this July as not only will it see the release of Summer Loop, but also a split-12” with Ontario band Hawkeyes. Both happily continue with the hazy sounds of that debut while dabbling in noisier melodies and cinematic-scale reverb. Here, in the former camp, “Dancing In Flames” comes from the axis of pure distortion and space-rock, long-range synths scanning the cosmos in stereo between blasts of black jazz. It’s nevertheless bursting with melody and comes across like an amazing lazy-dayz game of catch with a neutron star. Riding a bloodshot groove, the atmospheric “Just Go Away” is rendered beautifully indistinct by feedback and delay, melancholy Hammond organ and a lost male vocal coming straight from the Brian Jonestown Massacre school of psychedelia.

The dreamy Shelby Gaudet takes vocal elsewhere and her contribution to the gently lolloping “Walking Down The Street” is simply to die for. Built of blissful, shoegazing fuzz it’ll be absolute manna for fans of the likes of Medicine. At the other end of the spectrum, “Summer Of Burnout” is a pretty incredible deep-space zoner with some serious riffs in its protesting tail. Keeping it cosmic, outer-ring hoedown “Sunrise” is then a snappy little mosey of a jam, dusty chords plucked from the prairie and undercut with Oort-cloud synths. Just as they do here, Summer Loop’s guitar textures shimmer blackly throughout, vaguely threatening but just too stoned to really do anything about it. And it makes for a surprisingly seductive combination.

Best track: “Walking Down The Street”

~Summer Loop is released in a run of 350 on eco-coloured vinyl and 50 vinyl-replica jacket CDs July 7th 2017 via the collaborative efforts of Sunmask and Cardinal Fuzz.~