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Sunblind Lion: The Sanatorium (Homegrown Records)

Mar. 5, 2014
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If your band is going to be gone for a third of a century, why not return with a grandiose conceptual bang? Sheboygan’s Sunblind Lion know from grandiosity, being arguably the Badger State’s most renowned progressive rock proponents in their heyday. For their comeback, they’ve opted for that old prog standby: the concept album. But instead of setting its framework in some fantastical, futuristic world, a story of tuberculosis and family intrigue surrounding a substantial inheritance in 1920s Wisconsin (based on a novella by drummer and recently retired high school English teacher Mike Dellger) provides a canvas for songs that act as character studies over a range of musical styles. Amid nods to Bob Dylan’s narrative side, Revolver-era Beatles and reggae-leaning rock, Sunblind Lion create intricate, heroic sonics roughly evenly divided between virtuoso moves and melodic hooks.  

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