Beachwood Sparks : Make The Robot Cowboys Cry

Exceptional acid-fried alt.pop

With the same balance of melody and cosmic-cowboy menace that made the Radar Brothers’ ‘And The Surrounding Mountains’ one of the first mighty American albums of 2002, the small but perfectly formed ‘Make The Robot Cowboys Cry’ is another fine example of what great work can come from doing thoroughly inappropriate things with traditional music.

Spinning wildly away from the psychedelic western soundtrack trappings of the Byrds ‘Notorious Byrd Brothers’ LP through the sticky heat of ’80s one-album wonders the Meat Puppets’ equally superb ‘Up On The Sun’, the Beachwood Sparks present their own unique tapestry of Mezcal-soaked Americana. It’s occasionally unnerving but in the infinite twists of the extraordinary ‘Drinkswater’ and the strangely alluring ‘Ghost Dance 1492’, here is imagination running as wild as the prairie. Ride ‘em, cowboys.

Jim Wirth