Citay’s first self-titled album, from 2006, posited Ezra Feinberg’s Bay Area collective as a fractionally heavier wing of the acid-folk movement, filled as it was with a kind of mellow, medieval-tinged rock that seemed indebted to the acoustic dalliances of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
There was also, though, a peculiar affection for chorus pedal-heavy solos that, in spite of their obvious similarities to Brian May, made Citay pretty interesting outriders of the whole scene. Now on their third album, Feinberg seems only more intent on amping up his vision. “Dream Get Together” signals its intents very vigorously with the opening track, a fluid seven-minute jam called “Careful With That Hat” that finds the band becoming ever more ornate, baroque and charged.
The detailing is very pretty, and the almost incidental snatch of song somewhere in the middle is reminiscent of Graham Nash, but it’s the ravenous, buccaneering electric solo that dominates, that identifies Citay as such an enterprisingly odd, melodic group.
If there’s an obvious analogue for the boggle-eyed rustic choogle of the title track, it’s Hawkwind’s “Hurry On Sundown”, of all things. “Fortunate Son” (not the Creedence song) more or less repeats the same trick, albeit with a wrongfooting Fahey-ish intro, and a swift drum solo. And even when the acoustic guitars come to the fore, as on the windswept “Mirror Kisses” (quite Nash-like again), there’s a tension created by a feeling of inevitability that, at any moment, an electric solo will come and burn a hole in the stately strumming. “Hunter”, meanwhile, suggests vaguely the idea of early ‘70s Pink Floyd decamping to Bron Y Aur, with a pomp-synth solo that’s as preposterous as it is extended.
The thing is, Citay get away with all these proggish affectations, the woody bombast, the eccentric references, because they manage to integrate them all so neatly into a warm, holistic, mildly-psychedelic sound.