Jackie-O Samuel L. Jackson
Ballads of the Revolution
(2009, Fire Records)
RIYL = Gowns, Califone + Vibracathedral Orchestra, White Rainbow
In carrying on with my ridiculous aversion to typing out swears, I have altered yet another band name (remember Fun Buttons and Psychedelic Horses Hit?) that was already pretty awesome to begin with. However, I think I may have improved the band name this time around. I mean, Jackie-O Samuel L. Jackson? That is prettyBUG if you ask me (watching too much So You Think You Can Dance). But whether or not you prefer JOMF or JOSLJ, there is no denying that the music created by the glorious moniker is nothing short of brilliant. And on this most recent album it is nothing short of utter brilliance. JOSLJ has a pretty long track record filled with experimental explorations that travel all over the map, burrowing into each little niche and exploding it into something wholly unique and impressive. For some reason I haven’t been keeping up with the band since Flags of the Sacred Harp, but their newest, Ballads of the Revolution, doesn’t seem to have travelled all too far away from the experimental Americana that was featured there. This is a plus for me because I loved that album. Ballads of the Revolution inhabits a slack, hazy pocket of blissfully psychedelic tunes that certainly stands outside of the conventions of your standard folk/Americana, but is still probably one of the more structured releases within the Jackie-O catalog. Additionally, there is a lot of spacey and kind of rock oriented in places on Ballads of the Revolution. Some moments which definitely remind me of The Besnard Lakes or Black Mountain mixed with a woodsy tribal vibe that insists itself upon every track. So, built on six inscrutable tracks of weirdo JOMFness, Ballads of the Revolution is a perfect continuation to the band’s wonderful aesthetics and is probably one of the better points of entry for those new to the north western juggernauts. Ballads of the Revolution is an alternate universe filled with endless jams for the mind altered forester for which I invite you...?