The Fresh & Onlys maintain a musically anomalous relationship to San Francisco garage-psych. Green valley guitar-sweeps and detailed narratives unfurled in a rich baritone by Tim Cohen fit more comfortably alongside the neo-psychedelic phylum of British New Wave than Thee Oh Sees. Accordingly, House of Spirits floats in dreamlike romanticism. The drumless "Bells of Paonia" pulsates on an insistent bassline wrapped in a cloud of electric fuzz. This broad, atmospheric backdrop transforms Cohen's longing lyric from torch to bonfire. "April Fools" jangles and jerks with the breathless naiveté of an unrequited lover, while "Ballerina" takes a moonlit detour into high western loneliness. Despite a handful of structurally underdeveloped songs like designated rock-driver "Hummingbird," compelling moments carry the day.
(Fri., 7:30pm, Elevation Amphitheatre)
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