Jookabox – Dead Zone Boys

January 01, 1970

(Asthmatic Kitty/Joyful Noise)


Following last year’s excellent Ropechain (then billed as Grampall Jookabox), David “Moose” Adamson
returns to the fractured-funk and weirdo psych-pop of that release, but turns
his major themes from ghosts, paranoia and Michael Jackson to casting images of
urban decay against a zombie motif. But Adamson’s lyrical preoccupations and
early-Misfits obsession with evoking horror movie imagery only serves as
impetus for his busy, frantic arrangements.


Smashing staticky drums and an aural mishmash or guitars,
loops, squawking horns, warped samples (including one from fellow Hoosiers the
Zero Boys) and even singing saw, Jookabox recalls similarly maximalist acts
like TV On The Radio, Animal Collective or Neutral Milk Hotel, but Adamson’s
work has none of the calm composure of any of those bands. He and accomplice
Patrick Okerson play, instead, with a reckless abandon and thrown-together feel
that would ruin any act whose shrapnel didn’t hit as accurately as Jookabox’s.
The result is an unhinged and exciting take on layered indie rock that tangles
itself in threads of electronic noise, garage-soul boogie, and crazed pop.


It would be easy to accuse Jookabox of trying out too much,
and never settling on anything long enough to see an idea to completion. This
record, like Ropechain carries a
feeling of extemporaneous mania, like the songs are the manifestations of
delirious hallucinations or fitful spasms. That’s kind of the appeal.


But when the songs begin to reveal themselves, when those
lyrical predilections and extended metaphors start to create their own surreal
landscape, the completeness of Dead Zone
reveals itself likewise.


Standout Tracks: “East Side Bangs/East Side Fade,” “Zombie Tear Drops” BRYAN REED


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