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Sunshine Fix with the Fantasy Four 

Monday, Dec. 10; Rocket Bar

By this point, most indie-rock fans probably know how they feel about the Elephant 6 collective, the sprawling family of like-minded bands and artists led by sunny '60s-style popsters the Apples in Stereo, weird/sad folksters Neutral Milk Hotel and carnival-sideshow freak-rockers the Olivia Tremor Control. You either believe that these bands (and the dozen-or-so others that make up the collective) are irrelevant, backward-looking revivalists or think they're respectfully cherry-picking the best of rock's past and forging ahead in new directions. The latest addition to the Elephant 6 family, Athens, Ga.'s the Sunshine Fix, may very well be the band to justify the faith of the latter faction and make converts of the former. Featuring former Olivia Tremor Control co-leader Bill Doss (pictured) (the slightly less crazy one), the Sunshine Fix play things relatively straight on the entrancing Age of the Sun, due out in January. The album, co-released by the Emperor Norton and Kindercore labels, is the band's full-length debut after an EP and some other scattered appearances. The huge guitars and drums on the album burst from the speakers in a way that no other Elephant 6 release has. Although the Olivia Tremor Control never resorted to lo-fi as a crutch, the home-recording aesthetic was prevalent in much of their work, making the unapologetically rock sound of Age of the Sun a refreshing surprise. The songwriting, too, has progressed from "spot the influence" homage (or rip-off) to a sound that, although informed by hundreds of listens to Revolver and Led Zeppelin III, is wholly its own -- aware of the past but looking to the future.

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