For those raised on dream pop bands and space rock songs, Some Sweet Relief sounds somewhat timeless, a 40-minute offering of neo-psych gospel that's more polished, more promising, and altogether stronger than most of the band's contemporaries.
Speck Mountain still have some distance to travel before they fill an album with such moments, so that whenever you hear their music, you think of them first rather than their influences. But this is only their second full-length, and it's a solid step in that direction.
It is a one-trick album and they spunk away their best song, the incantatory ‘Shame On The Soul’, right at the start, but the aforementioned trick is, at least, an affecting, and very occasionally gorgeous, one.
Some Sweet Relief is adrift in a sea of despondency, Balabanian's drawling vocals listless with discontent, the repetitive guitar lines striving for a Spiritualized-style hypnotism, but languishing instead in monotony.
There is something else weaving through all of this, that other mysterious thing that some great records have, that keeps you going back even while you know that whatever vocabulary you come up with, whatever modifier you hang on the album, will be inadequate.