This album will grip you under its simple rhythmic spell. Feeding your soul with a sense of calm reassurance. It has a mature vibe and a sense of history in its tone.
The low and slow opening of ‘Jungle in the Sound’ greets you with its mild and echoey vocals. The music has a definite 70’s flavor and midway through, there are a handful of guitar notes played over a steady repeating drum and bassline which serves as a sort of ‘sparse solo’ to strike your body whilst the heavy cymbal use gently awakens your aura.
There are some clever twists in this album; the story that is ‘Jesus was a Bluesman’ features some sweet rhyming lyrics and may have a floaty center but perhaps this song carries a deeper message about fighting for freedom? Whereas ‘Cleaning out the Ashtray’ may not have the most inventive of lyrics but the vocals are harder, there are percussive inclusions and this one seems to bounce around your brain if you just close your eyes and ‘tune in’.
‘Duke of Dynamite’ has a more effervescent feel. Its bass strumming and lyrics together with the bubbly-space effects just before the guitar solo (which itself sounds like many of the same string being played at once) seem to pump your blood from head to foot. This happens just in time for the chase like nature of the next track ‘Shitkickin’ Now’ a satisfyingly faster song which tells of not only overcoming something that once followed but now being the one “tailing” it. It is a song of turning the tables and it is almost like the guitar playing underlines the lyrics, as a kind of instrumental formatting, in places.
Wrapping the album up neatly is the acoustic song ‘Been So Long.’ The shortest song on the album and yet it is almost a synopsis of what the entire album is about; Needing help, recognizing your fears aren’t real, feeling let down and lonely, struggling with words and emotions BUT ultimately realizing that it is possible to build yourself back up and to be strong again after all of this time, because, “To get the taste of a win, you gotta learn to lose.”
This album is full of good solid sounds that will buzz you to the core. There are no frills. Just quality. A stripped-back formula that holds you steady in its arms and may even gently swing you in a hammock if you’ll let it.
Brant Bjork Is Out April 10th via Heavy Psych Sounds.
Jungle In The Sound
Mary (You’re Such A Lady)
Jesus Was A Bluesman
Cleaning Out The Ashtray
Duke Of Dynamite
Stardust & Diamond Eyes
Been So Long
10.04.2020,Heavy Psych Sounds
Formats: LP, CD, Digital
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