Sky Cries Mary
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Sky Cries Mary


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The best kept secret in music


"June 13 Review of Small Town"

After reuniting four years ago, Sky Cries Mary—the band once almost as well-known for their theatrical, costumed live shows as their uniquely psychedelic, tribal-gothic sound—have returned with a new album that might convert former detractors. On Small Town, bombast has given way to a sleeker, softer, and more organic feel, and although the band are now scattered across the country, this is their most cohesive album since 1993's This Timeless Turning.

From the opening moments of the title track, it's apparent that things have changed. Roderick Romero's singing has never sounded gentler or better, creating new dimensions in the band's presentation. His and wife/covocalist Anisa Romero's voices work together to gorgeous effect on more acoustic numbers like "Hovering," "Travel Light," and the sparse and haunting "Missing." "You Are" is the band's most overtly poppy offering to date. "I'm Always Home" finds the band successfully dabbling with trip-hop.

Fans of the band's past work won't be shocked or disappointed. Gliding rockers "Rainfall" and "Five Train" and the beautiful "Find a Way" return to territory more reminiscent of earlier work—"Land of All" actually manages to feel like a hybrid between old favorites "Elephant Song" and "Don't Forget the Sky," with Roderick's Burroughs-esque narrative complemented by Anisa's soaring choruses. Beautifully different from former work without being a radical departure, Small Town is an exciting new chapter in a band that have once again found joy in making music together. BARBARA MITCHELL - The Stranger (Seattle)

"Moonbathing on Sleeping Leaves"

Sky Cries Mary - "Moonbathing on Sleeping Leaves" (Warner Bros./World Domination Recordings 1997, 46464)

From Aural Innovations #2 (April 1998)
Seattle's Sky Cries Mary continues to amaze with their innovative brand of avant garde music on Moonbathing, their third major label release. Like its predecessors, this one is another 70-plus minutes of stylish, and at times spirited, progressive rock. The seven-member group has the versatility and depth to tackle most any musical style, and they often do. All sorts of unusual ethnic and percussion instruments (including the kitchen sink) are employed, which help to generate that bohemian flavor they've gotten us accustomed to. While this album doesn't quite live up to the standard they set with A Return to the Inner Experience and This Timeless Turning, some of the high points easily reach (and perhaps surpass) that level.

The husband-wife team of Roderick and Anisa Romero share the lead vocal duties, most often in a high-low duet style that I think they're beginning to overuse now. Anisa's voice is strong and pleasing, although she occasionally will degenerate into that over-emotionalized mode that plague so many pop icons; those intentional voice-crackings can get to me. But this is the exception rather than the rule.

The musicianship is topnotch, adept during both the quiet, sensitive passages and when going full bore. Todd Robbins (aka DJ Fallout) and Gordon Raphael man the sequencers and keyboards that provide the embellishments for the core of Michael Cozzi, Juano Davison, and Ben Ireland on guitar, bass, and drums, respectively.

A whopping 14 tracks appear on Moonbathing, the standout being 'An Ant, the Stars, an Owl, and its Prey,' a sensuous astral journey that is right on target when Anisa sings 'I see you floating by, staring at the stars.' The title track is based upon an indulgent hook offered up by a so-called swirling fuzzy-flange bass and Anisa's space whispering, and is the basis for a separate (limited edition) mini-album's worth of techno remixes. Another highlight is reached mid-stream with the segued tracks 'Ringing', the instrumental link 'Smoke Break', and 'Want.' The former vocal track builds up slowly, letting loose during the choruses. The album finishes up with the techno-ish 'Nowhere' and the low-key 'Insectoria,' with subdued vocal mumblings eventually leading skyward with a lilting melodic jam that creates closure.

We can be pretty sure that we won't be seeing Sky Cries Mary 'selling out' any time soon. How they managed to arrange a deal with a label like Warner Bros. is beyond me. They're far too creative and musical to be associated with the contrived, mass-marketing juggernaut that is the American music industry. But if their relationship with Warner helps to put thoughtful music in the hands of unsuspecting and impressionable teenagers, I'm all for it.

Reviewed by Keith Henderson
- Aural Innovations #2


1989 “Until the Grinder Cease” (New Rose)
1990 “Don’t Eat the Dirt” (New Rose)
1993 “Exit at the Axis” (World Domination) EP
1994 “ A Return to the Inner Experience” (World Domination)
1995 “This Timeless Turning” (World Domination”
1997 “Moon Bathing on Sleeping Leaves” (Warner Bros)
1999 “Seeds” EP (HooDoo Music)
2005 “Here and Now” Live Album (HooDoo)
2007 "Small Town" (HooDoo Music)


Feeling a bit camera shy


The roots of Sky Cries Mary were set when a University of Washington theatre student named Roderick decided to unite the energy of underground music with the mystique of avant guard theatre. The experiment worked. Sky Cries Mary quickly generated a massive underground following with their overpowering music, larger than life themes and extravagant multi-media performances.

By 1993 the artistic experimentation exploded into a musical phenomenon. The band boasted
several of Seattle’s best musicians, a signed deal with World Domination Records, a subsidiary of Capitol Records and their first full length album “Return to the Inner Experience” which received great acclaim.

Since Return the band has sold out countless shows in venues of all sizes, played on several continents and released 5 C.D.’s including 1997’s full length “Return to the Inner Experience” (Warner Bros.) and the 2005 live album “Here and Now” (HooDoo Music). Their new album “Small Town” is set to continue the phenomenon.


• Featured Musical Guests on the Conan O’Brien Show
• Featured Musical Guests on the John Stewart Show
• The song “Shipwrecked” featured on the cult classic film “Tank Girl”
• “The Elephant Song” featured in movie “The Harvest.”
• The song “Cornerman was featured on “Higher Learning”

About the New Album

Small Town builds on the SCM tradition of creating lush soundscapes, rich with an array of influences from rock to folk music and electronica. Fans that have been with Sky Cries Mary from the beginning will feel at home in the familiar components of the music while also being treated to new directions and departures.