Earth Sound System (Fire)
Psychedelic folk heroes of the Pacific Northwest Jackie-O Motherf--ker specialize in doing whatever they want to do. More often than not, the thing they decide to do is to go very weird and disconnected, but don’t count on it. JOMF mainstay Tom Greenwood will shift gears on you every time, if you let your guard down.
On Earth Sound System, the band swims between lush and exotic psych-folk, with delicate down-tempo guitar ballads set against adventurous backgrounds of buzzing noise and disjunct and bizarre soundscapes. Except when they just decide to hit you with a wall of fuzzy bass and guitar. This is experimental, druggy folk music, which can be aggressively repetitious, noisy, and anarchistic, so be warned. But for those who feel adventurous, or who have recently had their wisdom teeth removed and want to get the most out of their meds, this might be just what you’re looking for.
For the rest of us, this album is pretty much exactly what you expect from JOMF, and is a lot of fun to listen to. The sonic palette is wild, uninviting, and awkward at many points; static, blips, and a myriad of drums and cymbals play atop walls of wheezing, swelling drones on the album’s weird, hypnotic zenith, “Raga Separating,” eventually shifting gears one last time for the album finale, the hyper-harsh rocker “Where We Go.” So, you’ve been warned and/or encouraged. Fans of the band will be happy. Adventurers will be confused, but potentially delighted. Minds will be occasionally soothed, occasionally bent. Expect the unexpected.