January 31, 2006

Spiral Joy Band "Lullabies for Jeff Dean"

Hi, boys and girls! Do you like long, deep, heavy-duty instrumental jams? I know I do. I know that after a long, hard day of doing whatever it is I do that makes my days long and hard, I like to turn down the lights, turn off all other forms of technology, and listen to some really, really heady, mind-bendingly beautiful music. That’s why, then, I am really fond of Lullabies for Jeff Dean, the proper debut by Spiral Joy Band. Though they’ve been around for years (as a side project for experimental band Pelt’s Mikel Dimmick and Mike Gangloff), this is their very first official release.

I love it when a band simply doesn’t bother to name their songs. Of course, who needs names when your music consists of grand, heady epic instrumental passages, much like the three found on this record. After all, what’s the point of naming songs when all you do is jam? This troupe of musical experimenters has a slight Eastern fetish, as you’ll find sitars and gongs and other sorts of odd musical things from Asian lands. No matter, though, they blend in well with pianos and guitars and other things that go bump in the night. Drones blended with melody and a definite dollop of dark atmosphere…what more could a boy want? Dig the forty-minute “Lullaby 2,” which starts off all nice and then just gets progressively mind-blowing, and the beauty of the piano-laden “Lullaby 3” cannot be denied, either.

The three long jams found here, they won’t overwhelm you, as much as they will overtake you. The music is slow, the music is pretty, and the music is something that must be experienced in just the right way. By “the right way,” we mean candles and darkness and a little bit of fear. Lullabies for Jeff Dean is deep, it’s dark, it’s scary—and it’s also damn near brilliant. I have no idea who Jeff Dean is, but I hope he enjoys these lullabies. I know I did.

--Joseph Kyle

Label Website: http://www.vhfrecords.com

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