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Psychedelic/Space Rock • United States

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Cold Sun biography
An obscure but legendary psychedelic progressive outfit COLD SUN, based on Austin, Texas, had been active for only a few years around 1970. Bill MILLER (autoharps, voices), who was a freak of 13th Floor Elevators and later known as one of backing members of Roky Erickson, formed a psychedelic rock band COULDRON with his mate Tom McGARRIGLE (guitar) in 1968. Soon they changed the name into AMETHYST and appeared on stage of LL Club, a psychedelic club in Austin, as a follower of Elevators. Since then Bill had gotten to play autoharps, one of key instruments for psychedelic rock, with some eccentric chords amplified.

In 1969, AMETHYST recruited Mike WAUGH (bass), who could take John Ike WALTON (drums, percussion), one of the members of early Elevators. They signed with an independent record label Sonobeat, that were familiar with John, with their band name changed into COLD SUN. Their one and only album 'Dark Shadows' was recorded during 1970, with a new drummer Hugh PATTON instead of John, but what a pity COLD SUN could not release this album then for the sake of Sonobeat's bankruptcy, and they broke up in 1973 like the sunset.

'Dark Shadows', psychedelic legendary material, at last could see the light in 2008 published by German label World In Sound.

Cold Sun official website

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COLD SUN Videos (YouTube and more)

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COLD SUN discography

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COLD SUN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 22 ratings
Dark Shadows

COLD SUN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COLD SUN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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COLD SUN Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dark Shadows by COLD SUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 22 ratings

Dark Shadows
Cold Sun Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Josef_K

4 stars Although it has some minor flaws, this is one of the most interesting albums I've ever come across. The far-from-professional production and recording quality doesn't take away much from the album's magic, actually it adds very much to the atmosphere, you can feel how underground they are just by the sound quality. As if you needed that...

The album starts off with "South Texas" and the mind-blowing sound of Miller's autoharp. Not that you think "man this guy is incredible with the autoharp", of course it's more of "wow, they use an autoharp as a main instrument". This is not the only thing unique about Cold Sun, but it is by far the most unique. Every time I listen to the record, I think about the autoharp and how well it fits in with their sound. Every time I wonder if I should learn to play the autoharp...

Anyway, "South Texas" is a nice song, with neat, dark lyrics and melodies. It's dark psychedelia written as a progressive song.

"Twisted Flower"... first of all, what a great song name! This one gets even better, with better lyrics and melodies. I just completely love the part where another vocal melody kicks in at the words "yes I recieved the calls as they float around..." or whatever they are singing... I really need to find myself a lyric sheet.

"Here in the Year" is perhaps still my favorite song off the album, a bit longer than the first two and more developed I guess. It also weeds out non-fanatics while repeating the phrase "I think we're gonna see, television some day soon" in different forms. I do love the way that part ends with though. "And you'll be on television someday soon, locked behind the glass in my room". There are some GREAT lyrics here... you're just not allowed to miss it.

"For Ever" starts off great with an incredible chord progression (no idea what chord progression, it just sounds good to my ears, could be 1-5-4 for all my ears can tell), melody and lyrics. However, the part repeating "where does he come from?" is just too long, it's like yes I know it's psychedelic music but seriously... All in all a great song though.

"See What You Cause" is also a nice song, not as good as "Here in the Year" or "Twisted Flower" but it works well. It does pale in comparison with what's to come though.

"Fall" is my other pick for a favorite song. It has some of the greatest lyrics I've ever heard, mixed up with average lyrics I guess but still. I'm only guessing at the lyrics here but if he really sings "Once I was a drunken mass of mynn, at the garden wall, now I'm a dancing prince of light, who knows no fear at all" then those are some incredible lyrics! Also, I have some unexplained complete love for the line "Sing a song for life, in the middle of imagined night". It just... sums up what their music is all about in such a surreal and psychedelic way... It's simply perfect.

I haven't even mentioned anything else about "Fall" other than the lyrics... the song goes through many different stages and is overall much more well-written and arranged than the others (except for "Here In the Year" I guess). There are some incredible guitar solos, I just love the feedback sound they get on this record as well, it's simply mindblowing!

Finally, we have "Ra-Ma", also a longer extremely well-written piece. It has a great part near the beginning which is very defining for the whole band, when the song after a slow, meandering intro changes tempo drastically and goes into a fast, almost hard-rock like beat with incredible lyrics. More accurately, I BELIEVE those are great lyrics, I can't pick up much but fragments so they won't make any sense here, but they still leave an impression, to put it mildly.

All in all, this is not really an album that can be described. It is very unique and interesting, and is well worth 4 stars even though it is obviously a debut album by some very talented aspiring musicians, not an ambitious masterpiece by professional artists with years of experience in the music business. However, what they lack in professionalism they balance out with their unique style and lots of emotion. I wish they could have got a decent record deal, these guys could have blown bands like Soft Machine away ten times over if they had got the chance.

 Dark Shadows by COLD SUN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 22 ratings

Dark Shadows
Cold Sun Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Throw yourself at their feet - listening to only the beginning of South Texas. How droning Bill's autoharp be I'm always amazed. However wait, not only the sounds of his autoharp could determine COLD SUN's psychedelic musical style...please listen more carefully.

Yes I cannot be permissive with leaving such a great psychedelic progressive rock band (and simultaneously a follower of 13th Floor Elevators) still obscure underground. The frontman Bill MILLER, the autoharpist, got to be a backup-band member of Roky Erickson - he was a real admirer of Elevators and at the same time a real developer of Elevators' sound and style I appreciate. Not simply with a dry guitar solo, warped voices and wetly lyrical drums & percussion like Elevators, Bill and all members of COLD SUN tried to incorporate some progressive structure into their Elevators-based style - Neues! Their new trial should have catered for the psychedelic rock scene in those days...but, sad to say...their dream was broken out by the bankruptcy of the label Sonobeats.

Please let me say that COLD SUN should owe much of their psychedelically progressive essence to ALL the members' play, not only Bill's eccentric autoharp sounds. Hugh's wetly lyrical (and low-fi) drumming and Mike's heavily trailing bass are somewhat comfortable, in spite of their slightly unstable rhythm. Tom's fuzzy and unworldly guitar solo can remind us a brightly colourful flower garden. And strongly impressed with Bill's warped and cheesy (sorry!) voices! Don't be deceived with poppy-flavoured opening of each song, especially the third track Here In The Year. :-) The story (song) continually alters itself like a chameleon okay?

Again said, it's a pity they could not release this terrific album in the early 70s. They could have been one of the psychedelic progressive rock pioneers I consider.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

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