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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cold Sun Dark Shadows - A Review

Cold Sun Dark Shadows

OK, let’s put this Cold Sun discussion away for good. Over the last few years there has been a concerted effort, by some few, to *magically* elevate the band – Cold Sun to “legendary” status in the pantheon of Texas Psych.

To those thinking that this album will be reminiscent of the fabled Sixties Texas Garage Rock Sound will be in for a major disappointment. There’s a reason this album was never released in 1970; it sucks! It’s nothing but a bunch of meandering, devoid-of-melody, uninteresting, noise and ill conceived modality exercises. And let’s face it folks, Cold Sun IS NOT somebody like the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (East West) or Frank Zappa or (fer Christ sake) Neil Young on his Trans album. Guys like that can pull off "different". Cold Sun? They’re a bunch of tuneless tools. Yes Elizabeth, YOU can be able to listen to Billy Miller learning to play his autoharp.

There’s been a lot of talk that this album is some sort of "missing link" between legendary groups like the Velvet Underground, the Doors, the 13th Floor Elevators, the Golden Dawn and more modern music. Uhhhh… the four groups above could do something that Cold Sun, seemingly, cannot accomplish: carry a tune. Additionally, this *talk* is manufactured stuff. All of these opinions are being concocted by a select few, a circle-jerk, of people who want to push Cold Sun up into undeserved status. Those who talk about Cold Sun in the same breath as bands like the Velvet Underground and 13th Floor Elevators should have their tongues torn out with red hot tongs.

Really? Cold Sun Dark Shadows sounds like Miller and his cohorts had been listening to the first Yes album and the first King Crimson album and were trying to affect some sort of “Prog-Rock” sound with a gimmick. But, again, Yes and King Crimson knew what a melody was. The effort isn’t helped that Bill Miller can put an alley cat, howling at night on a fence, to shame. Omigod! It’s horrific. He goes up and down and upppppp and downnnnnn with this pasty little voice that sounds like he’s getting corn-holed rather roughly.

Miller’s vocalizations, combined with the tuneless music, make for an exercise in pain upon listening. Oh yes, just in case you’re thinking that, like Captain Beefheart, Cold Sun just needs to be “appreciated” well… Captain Beefheart was a genius; Cold Sun is a bunch of, gawd-awful, posers. Again, there’s a reason their album never came out. There’s a reason only 300 copies were pressed when it did come out for the first time, years later.

Looking back, this whole Cold Sun emergence lately seems to be the invention of Patrick Lundborg aka: the Lama. Lundborg has written much prose about how wonderful Cold Sun Dark Shadows Bill Miller is. To me, Lundborg is trying to give Cold Sun props; Billy is his buddy. More like, Lundborg is trying to prop up the putrid, sagging, carcass of Cold Sun.

Beware! Buy this album at your own risk! Don’t buy into the cross-talk that these guys were “great”. Cold Sun couldn’t carry bands like the Red Crayola & Golden Dawn’s jockstraps.

If you’re unconvinced, I have pasted some samples below. It’s God-awful. It’s God-awful AND it’s late to the party God-awful. Don't be fooled into buying this album! Don't be a fool and put them up as a legitimate Texas Psych band from the Sixties.

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Anonymous said...

Cold Sun Dark Shadows sucks ass. And to think this crap has been talked about in the same breath as Easter Everywhere and Power Plant.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ok, honestly, I've never heard of this band. After listening to the first 3 songs you have posted here, I gotta say I really really like this band.
They have a great unique sound, and while there aren't any immediately catchy melodies at all, I bet its the sound those people are referring to that also like this band.
I would like to hear as much from this band as possible, they really are unique and they have something. Nothing like VU or the Doors, they sound like a garage band in the late 60's practicing in their garage, and a lot of us like that sound. We really do.
Why? because there aren't any fancy mics or mixers being used, its all raw.
Jim Morrison sang into a ribbon mic connected to a tube preamp that today would cost about $150,000 just for the two pieces.
Cold Sun were probably using one piece of crap bullet mic for the entire band.
Thats why some of us have an interest in these bands, its the sound, and this band had a very nice, unique sound.

RokySyd said...

OK Billy, you piece of crap, thanks for publishing the previous comment.

Anonymous said...

I kept hearing the hype about Cold Sun,listened to it and was not impressed.We all have different moods for letting in new music.and after two years of reading the hype I gave it one more try.I now can't stop playing it.Yes it is low fi garage recording and primitive arrangements,but I'm hooked.The keyboard sounds almost like a guitar and I don't hear any bass but the little guitar riffs are simple yet addictive.I tried not to like it but it gives me alot of pleasure lately.

Anonymous said...

this album is great as any fule no

alpan said...

Can't belive what you think about this sounds. This is one of a kind almost , one of the hidden beauties of music.if you like 13th floor elevators there is no way you can't really understand this band expect you are one of those 13th fans who hate the ' a love that's sound ' release.In my thoughs , best ever sound the 13th floor elevators ever create.which is very close to this one actually.

Anonymous said...

I also have to agree with some guys above me, I really like this sound, you don't have to compare it with the elevators or the doors. They're not the doors. It's Cold Sun and it's a beautiful statement of a 60^s garage band.
btw, you'll find the whole album on youtube.

Anonymous said...

"Ra Ma" is a cut above anything Golden Dawn ever did in my opinion. Its brilliant. So is "Here In The Year".

Dan Sullivan said...


*slow clap*

Anonymous said...

*slow clap*


Harold Hecuba said...

This isn't NEARLY as bad as you described it. In fact, it's pretty good and has stood the test of time well.

Djents said...

thanks for posting the videos! this band is amazing!

Anonymous said...

I like this album too..Maybe its because I am an autoharp player.
Listen up, guys..there might be some discussion about certain musical techniques with this band in particular, but I honsestly must admit, I really like their unique sound...maybe it's because I am European (Austrian) and the use of autoharp sounds a little bit exotic to me..
calicowall from Vienna

Conor Kiley said...

I love Cold Sun. I disagree that they lack tunefulness. "Here in the Year" is an achingly beautiful tune, chaotic, but also beautiful. But, if you don't dig beautiful chaos, how did you even get hip to Cold Sun?

Kiloh Smith said...

Cold Sun sucks.