Sun Dial Other Way Out / Other Way In

Odd that metal asylum Relapse decided to reissue this long-forgotten debut album from defunct UK psych-rockers Sun Dial. Obviously the label saw its potential, which there is plenty of in this expanded version. The brainchild of Gary Ramon (also of Current 93), Sun Dial’s sound was profoundly expansive, brewing up a mind-blowing ’60s replication of psychedelia, Krautrock and prog without many hints that it was at all contemporary for its time. Originally released in 1990 on the Tangerine label owned by the band’s manager, Other Way Out carries a timeless sound led by the boundless atmospherics generated by Ramon’s inventive guitar work, best felt on the epic "She’s Looking All Around.” His capacity for rooting a sound so deep in a past era is remarkable, as is his songwriting range. "Lorne Blues” is 100 percent about the acidic riff, which is why a good three-quarters of the song is Ramon burning a hole in his guitar with a scorching solo. "Other Side” follows it up from the other end of the spectrum, showcasing Sun Dial’s ability to write a decent pop song. Perhaps the greatest thing about this reissue — besides the original’s spotless remastering — is the bonus disc, Other Way In. Though it easily pales in comparison, it really shouldn’t be expected to trump Out, considering it’s compiled of outtakes and demos from the album’s sessions. It still sounds miles better than most of today’s psych acts borrowing Sun Dial’s sound, and makes this reissue a no-brainer for even casual fans of this ilk. (Relapse)