First Look: New Jackie-O Motherfucker

 

Just ‘cos we like typing that name out… Earth
Sound System drops next week via the Fire
label.

 

By Mike
Shanley

 

The
aggregation known as Jackie-O Motherfucker doesn’t want to limit themselves to
an easily described set of music, so they do complete turnabouts with virtually
all six tracks on their latest album, Earth
Sound System
. The final product can both unnerve and captivate, though not
at the same time. As far as consistency, well that’s another story.

 

Two of
the six songs reside in a sleepy, summery abode where Galaxie 500 used to live.
“In the Willows” has a drowsy aura, full of guitars that continue to
reverberate long after the chords have been struck. With vocals that sound like
an even flatter version of Dean Wareham, all that’s missing is the climactic
guitar solo. But even at seven minutes, the song doesn’t miss it. “Dedication”
continues the journey back to the Noise New York studio. This song’s gargled
backwards guitar solo could have originated there under Kramer’s guiding hand,
and it almost makes up for the song’s single-line lyric.

 

 

For
“Raga Joining” and its counterpart “Raga Separating,” the Mothergrabbers either
let someone else into the studio or chucked their rock gear for a menagerie of
turntables, synth drums, bass clarinet and percussion. The best free improv
should involve interaction but these pieces -second and fifth respectably –
sound like separate tracks of random noodling superimposed without any regard
for listenability. There is no reason to stay tuned for nine minutes of it.

 

On the
bright side, the free drumming approach spills into “Bring It To Me,” which
follows “Raga Joining,” and it makes a strange combination, with finger-picked
guitars, that works. “Where We Go” offers a different study in excess: the
song’s primal beat quickly gets buried in overloaded fuzz bass as they charge
into some proto-garage rock. It’s hard to tell, but there’s a riff in there
somewhere. And it’s safe to say the band probably likes it that way.

 

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