Nov 16 2015
The last time this site featured one of Jacob Garchik’s visions, it was a gospel work of potent harmonies and melodies as endless at the prettiest sunset. The theme of The Heavens was a solo trombone sermon on Garchik’s love of religious music, gospel especially, and his view of science and religion as it exists in our universe. On his new release Ye Olde, it’s a different sound and different building blocks and a different theme, but the vision he projects rings with the same clarity and sharpness. Joining up with Garchik’s trombone are three different guitarists, a drummer, and an unlimited supply of gasoline. A perusal of the song titles gives evidence of Garchik’s theme of heroes wandering an imaginary New York City whose renaissance took the shape and form of a foreboding Gothic landscape. And from the brutish architecture that defines these compositions, it’s obvious that the entire crew pushes all-in on Garchik’s vision.
The album’s opening tracks (“The Sinister Scheme Of Mortise Mansard,” “The Sinister Scheme Of Mortise Mansard,” “The Lady of Duck Island” and “The Elders of Ocean Pathway”) all possess a heavy presence and exhibit zero inhibition to throw their weight around. Of those four tracks, the first leads out with a shout-to-the-sky melody above a hard-charging rhythm, the second patiently throws one haymaker after the other, the third weaves together different threads into a focused stream of force, and the fourth of that batch brings the heat and an ample number of ways to set the whole damn place on fire.
“The Opossum King Of Greenwood Forest” signals a new stage of the album development with a sharp groove that cuts through some appealingly rough edges. Subsequent track “Post-Modern Revival” builds on that foundation, but shifts into a pulsing tempo that allows for Garchik to skip melodic fragments like stones over choppy water. And “The Battle Of Brownstone Bulge” is a hulking leviathan that sometimes wavers in and out of focus, betraying a lightness that contrasts beautifully with its massive presence. Not dissimilar is “Refuge In The Ruins Of Castle Martense” in a stripped down sort of way.
Garchik and crew put the finishing touches on his vision with “The Throne Room Of Queen Anne,” a song that celebrates the album’s raucous nature and raw intensity while imparting the sense of finality with a casual delivery that is positively magnetic… capping an album that matches its intensity and intelligence with a huge dose of fun.
Your album personnel: Jacob Garchik (trombone, alto horn, tenor horn), Brandon Seabrook (guitar), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Jonathan Goldberger (guitar, baritone guitar) and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums).
The album is Self-Produced.
Music from the (Flatbush) Brooklyn scene.