Purple Martin Sanctuary
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., Aug. 17, 2012
Coffee SergeantsPurple Martin Sanctuary
With a cinematic swash of strings that succumbs to a big Southern jangle, Austin's long-running psychedelic rangers unleash a pitch-perfect meditation on summertime languor. Opener "Virginia Creeper" sounds like it was cryogenically preserved in a mid-Eighties college radio time capsule, the familiar hypno-pop riff that bandleader Carey Bowman locks into a quarter century removed from Paisley Underground overreach emerging shiny and fresh. "Allandale" elevates the local neighborhood to near-mythical status with faraway nostalgia torn from the pages of a Jimmy Webb notebook, while the title track constructs a Lone Star variation on Andy Partridge's pastoral flights of whimsy. The Sergeants veer slightly garage-ward with "Sally White" before abruptly switching styles on twang-tinged barroom weeper "Start All Over." Eight albums in, Purple Martin Sanctuary still channels the adventurous spirit that made early efforts like Autumn Days and Moonlight Towers sparkle. Sadly, this is the last album the band recorded with bassist Spencer Berry, who died in November.