Over the years, Sub Pop has signed bands that specialize in many different styles of rock, from grunge to folk. World music hasn't been very prevalent, though. That is, not until one of the label's latest additions, Rose Windows, released The Sun Dogs, an exciting debut that mixes American and British classic-rock influences with Persian, Indian and Eastern European sounds.
The album opens with "The Sun Dogs I: Spirit Modules," a moody tune that pairs folk melodies with Black Sabbath-like vocals. "Native Dreams" is thrilling from start to finish, especially during a flute and organ barrage at the beginning. The song takes psychedelic elements from the worlds of Jethro Tull and the Doors and combines them with stirring vocals from singer Rabia Shaheen Qazi. Songs like "Heavenly Days" brings to mind Fleetwood Mac's blues-based Bare Trees era, but it never feels like Rose Windows are copying the past. Rather, they see these musical forebears through a new set of rose-colored glasses.