Published: February, 2007, West Coast Performer Magazine

Sir Splendid "Lords & Peacocks"
(Rabbit Fighter)
Recorded and produced by Marcus Barron

By Michael Fortes

The raw, garage sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s are the hip musical references that make for bands like The Raconteurs, The Strokes, The Greenhornes and Eagles of Death Metal. Add San Diego’s Sir Splendid to that list, and someone please fax a memo to Little Steven Van Zandt!

Though a bassist and second guitarist have since been added to the band’s lineup, the sounds heard on Lords & Peacocks are the product of just two individuals. Marcus Barron handles all the guitars, keyboards, recording and production tasks, in addition to providing the album’s often distortion-laden lead vocals. Paul Chandegra meanwhile takes care of drum duties.

While all indications are that Sir Splendid is Barron’s baby, Chandegra’s rhythmic contributions can’t be ignored. The danceable groove he establishes with Barron on “Automatic Sidewalk Action” sets the loose, fun tone for the rest of Lords & Peacocks and keeps Barron’s plea of “All good people gotta get along” sounding less like a sermon and more like the ideal that it is.

Barron’s tendency toward extended arrangements at times creates the illusion of a full, four-piece band jamming in the studio. A fully fleshed out song like “Mr. Sickmeantwister,” for example, has an extended instrumental passage that never overstays its welcome or pretends to be anything other than a fun-sounding opportunity for the band to rock out. And “Curbside Killer,” with its church organ and faux harpsichord outro, sounds like prog on paper, but comes out of the speakers sounding more like a rock band having a blast in the studio.

All this and the single-worthy, riff-driven “Dumb Angel” make for a consistently pleasing, never embarrassing, fuzzy retro affair throughout Lords & Peacocks‘ 51:34 minutes of play time.