“Colder Streams is a record made with love by loved ones. The Sadies have released a lot of records. This is one of them,” wrote Dallas Good in the bio for the 11th studio album from The Sadies. Reading it with the knowledge of his tragic and untimely passing earlier this year gives this simple statement weight. Colder Streams isn’t just another Sadies record; it’s their last one with Dallas, the unintended end of an era. By the time the world was robbed of Good’s monster talent, the album was finished, waiting to be heard by so many who treasured his artistry. And to read Good describe it, it is the band’s best work yet.
This is no exaggeration. Colder Streams achieves the astounding level of cohesion and playing that has come to be expected from The Sadies. From the opening thrash of whirling guitars and fuzz, this is the stuff psychedelic dreams are made of. In the foreboding melody of “Cut Up High and Dry,” the mystic hypnotism of “Stop and Start,” and in the dreamy paranoia of “More Alone,” The Sadies zero in on the sonic aesthetic they have come to define. A stew of witchy punk rock and swirling surf rock, with the occasional dose of a country-western hallucinogen, Colder Streams is signature Sadies. Contributions from Jon Spencer and Bruce and Margaret Good (parents of Dallas and Travis), plus inventive sound effects (including wine glasses on the trippy instrumental finale “End Credits”) from Michael Dubue, and producer Richard Reed Parry’s adventurousness make Colder Streams a deep labor of love and collaboration.
While the haunting echo of Dallas Good’s voice will stick with you, Colder Streams is more than a startlingly beautiful legacy for Good. It is the work of a band at their most accomplished, most driven. “We certainly don’t claim to have re-invented the wheel. We just are. And have been for a very long time,” Good continues in his description of the album. This may be the most aptly captured ethos of The Sadies, a band that truly defies categorization.
Colder Streams is out July 22 on Yep Roc Records.