Produced by Ty Segall, the self titled debut is the work of Mike Donovan of Sic Alps, part of that reality-shifted psych-rock colony growing on the coast of California. It’s a scene with many parents, as listening to the wonderful Peacers makes very clear: the influence of the Californian psychonauts of the 60s, the scuzzy British Invasion bands, and a strain of UK/US acid psych from the 70s is all evident. Occasionally, the super lo-fi production (you could call it “bedroom pop” only if your bedroom was an alley and you were constantly interrupted by tramps pissing on you) is a confusing mess (see ‘Drama Ensues’) but more often it’s full of insane distortion and endless diversions that take you on fascinating trips off the regular psych rock path.
‘R.J.D. (Salam)’ is the Arabic peace greeting delivered in wasted Syd Barrett tones while the chiming, rhythmic ‘Institution Shave’ imitates the Beatles recording after a heavy dose of angel dust. 'Kick On The Plane' is a guttural Stones rock’n’roll rhythm before it dissolves into weirdness, and ‘Scandi Mindi’ combines elements of floaty psych rock with violent r’n’r guitar moves. ‘Super Francisco’ is sultry and slinky, a mix of Bolan and Shuggie Otis, while ‘Blume’ is the most conventional song with an infectious, jangly chorus and fine bout of guitar shredding.
As the key creative in Sic Alps, it’s unsurprising that Peacers has the same scuzzy, magpie-acquisitive approach to garage rock and the same melodic, tuneful approach too. It took a few listens to gain the looseness needed to appreciate Donovan’s latest effort but it was worth it – proving that there’s still prime psych-rock coming from San Francisco even while some of the key artists are moving out.