Mark & The Clouds. Waves. Gare du Nord Records

Marco Magnani is an Italian who, since the 90s,’ has been surfing the London neo psychedelic scene. I don’t know too much about this scene but presumably, it’s centred around small pubs populated by folk who buy magazines such as Shindig, in itself, no bad thing. The question here is can Marco (or Mark) cut the mustard on disc so let’s find out.

A basic trio with several guests adding additional colour, Mark & The Clouds kick off the album in fine fashion on the trippy You & Me In Space which reminds one of The Rain Parade’s debut album, a definite plus in this reviewer’s opinion. With guitars which sound like sitars played backwards along with church like organ and cymbal splashes galore, it’s the real deal. It’s the high point (if you get my drift) of the album as thereafter they roam throughout various styles – harmonic psych pop, pastoral revelries and beat freak all feature. Overall they manage to satisfy that sixth sense which most folk who experienced either the first wave of psychedelia, the so called Paisley Underground or the new wave of psychedelic rock (hands up if you own a copy of A Splash of Colour) have.

So, take your pick from the floating vocals and swooning guitars of Free Me Now, the acoustic tapestry of the title song or the punchy San Francisco punk of Peace Not Religion for a quick fix, and then relax amidst the cosmic strains of Back In Time and the harmonies of The Same Old Dream. These are all quite fine in their own right and the band are quite acute in their recall of classic psychedelic pop. Ultimately however, they never match that tremendous opening song although the closing galloping guitar epic, Somebody Else, has the makings of a great live favourite.

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