This Manchester combo formed by guitarists Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies — after their bandmates in the Chameleons went off to launch the Sun and the Moon in 1987 — mixes a droney semi-psychedelic attack and a strong melodic sensibility with partial success. Though a few memorable numbers like “Blind Denial” (from Rock the Magic Rock) yield a nice power pop/art rock hybrid that recalls some of the Church’s finer moments, the Reegs’ tendency to overuse technical frills — like the stiff programmed drumming that dominates too many of their tunes — works against the band’s better interests. Indeed, it’s on quieter, more acoustically based efforts, like “Goodbye World” and “Running to a Standstill” (both from Rock the Magic Rock) that the band shines most brightly. Return of the Sea Monkeys was assembled from two prior EPs and the band’s contributions to various Imaginary Records tribute albums.
See also: Mark Burgess and the Sons of God