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Mike Stax: Vocals
Marc Schroeder: Guitar
Chris Marsteller: Guitar
Anja Stax: Bass, vocals
Mike Kamoo: Drums
The Loons have been playing their smart, inventive brand of psychotic beat music for almost twenty years. Lead singer is Mike Stax of Ugly Things Magazine, Anja Stax plays bass, Marc Schroeder and Chris Marsteller are the guitarists, and Mike Kamoo is their drummer and producer. Shindig Magazine described them as “a perfect pairing of Love-influenced garage-psych and British underground in the mould of the Pretty Things, played with preternatural style and ability,” and The Sunday Experience raves that the Loons “pack in more soul savvy psych blues in three and a half minutes than most bands do in a lifetime.” Onstage and in the studio, the Loons are at the top of their game. The release of their new album will be followed by a high profile live appearance in London, England, at the Beat Bespoke Festival.
Michael Toland in THE BIG TAKEOVER
Red Dissolving Rays of Light works because of that most basic of reasons: good songs. With strong melodies and well-crafted lyrics, tunes like the folk rocking "A Last Goodbye," the lush popping "Summer's End" and the barnburning "Between Grey Slates" are just cool tracks, nostalgia be damned. The excellent Red Dissolving Rays of Light will be of interest to anyone who likes catchy, melodic rock & roll, not just 60s revivalists.
Eric Reidelberger in SHINDIG!
An awe inspiring record of great depth ... Sweeping majestically between introspective musings of psychedelia and high-energy garage punk, the whole album has a stylistic playing thread with the rhythm section locked into a monster groove and the guitars engaged in a lysergic battle.
The high points are many but big money winners would be the epic journey through the psyche that is "A Last Goodbye" with Mike Stax's narratives approaching Poe/Lovecraftian type prose. The sonic blast of "Between Grey Slates" gets the blood moving appropriately, while the sun-drenched sentiment of "Summer's End" feels like a warm August night.
Alan Clayson in THE BEAT
As it has been with previous output by San Diego's boss group, there's not a sole tedious moment ... The Loons have impregnated their chosen idiom with inbred originality and a lively imagination that rides roughshod over any borrowed vocal (and instrumental) mannerisms - because, if the wilder aspects of Swinging 'Sixties pop played any part in soundtracking your adolescence and beyond, the procurement of Red Dissolving Rays Of Light is a recreational imperative. Pawn your watches and rings if need be.
Mary Leary in THE DAGGER
RDROL rox like crazee. The compelling progressions on "Diamonds, Garbage & Gold," "I Wanna Get You," and the title track could easily go head to head with Pebbles's best. Stax is a purist. His need for guitars that jangle, ring and buzz; a throbbing rhythm section, and concise tunes, has miraculous shelf life - probably 'cause he and the other Loons are about breathing this stuff - to them, it's not history.
Bob Brown on MONDO CULT BLOG
San Diego's Loons deliver 11 heaping helpings of psychedeliciousness on this template for 21st century garage rock. This should appeal to the hardcore devotees of '60s nuggets as well as to all the kids who could give a shit about the Seeds and just want to rock ... There's much to like... and there's one to love: "Summer's End" is the song of the summer of 2010. Sorry, Katy Perry, "California Gurls" is swell, but it doesn't have both the shimmer and the depth of "Summer's End." This is a gorgeous song with a catchy melody and terrific harmonies. I first heard it in early summer and instantly fell in love. And, as the song says, "When we reach the summer's end/Let's all fall in love again." This is a winner for all seasons.
Robert Duffy in the SD READER
Unsurprisingly, the band has retained its California psychedelia and British freakbeat '60s influences. Yet they manage not to sound revivalist, as the Loons' strengths are in the quality of musicianship and songwriting - two things that never age.
Jake Austen in ROCTOBER
What's great here is that despite Mike Stax' background as rock historian and archivist, this is a real band...not an academic exercise in reference collage or a nostalgic survey of styles and riffs. In fact, they aren't even retro; this is a set of timeless rock 'n' roll, certainly defined by the psyche-garage-freakbeat guitar tones, but not limited by them. Really strong songwriting (including an ode to their favorite stretch of road in San Diego) makes me Looney for this record!
The first track on this album had us hooked instantly. The impossibly catchy "Between Grey Slates" sounds very much like Richard Hell very early in his career. Great jagged guitars, chunky rhythms, and vocals drenched with detached attitude ... These folks' sound combines the best elements of garage rock with early 1970s punk...as they manage to come up with eleven winning tracks. The songs are driven by some wonderful fuzzy overdriven guitars and the rhythms always hit the target dead center ... Lots and lots and lots of cool genuine energy...
This, their 3rd album, recalls as much the Stooges and MC5 as Arthur Lee's Love or the Kinks. It's a terminally-cool and hip rock and roll sound ... I like that Loons aren't afraid to be "pop". But in their case, the "pop" is neither manufactured or artificial. Loons concoct a natural, organic, and human form of music that favorably crosses strong songwriting with an air of regal garage rock recklessness (and attitude). Loons' warm and classic sounds should find favor with a wide cross-section of listeners, and "Red Dissolving Rays Of Light" is full of balmy Summer sunshine to these jaded ears.
Steven Reid on SEA OF TRANQUILITY blog
When the songs are raucous and vibrant, the likes of "I Wanna Get You", or "Diamonds, Garbage & Gold" are little bundles of joy that are a pleasure to unwrap ever time you hear them. The guitars of Chris Marsteller and Marc Schroeder are sharp and incisive and have the right bend of pitch perfect tone and fuzzed up jangle to make you groove to the beat.