Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jess and the Ancient Ones : "Horse and Other Weird Tales"

While not tremendously impressed when I saw this band open for King Diamond a few years ago, I think they have potential so have some hope fore their new album "the Horse and Other Weird Tales " . I continues to find the band steeped in groovy 60's rock almost like Coven with go-go dancers. So keyboards play a huge role. There is also a very jammy quality, not unlike some of the Doors more upbeat moments. The vocals are strong and soulful , but far from doing anything new. Combining elements of both Momma Cass and Janis Joplin, the results are not largely different from a band like Shocking Blue. So full of flower power that aside from the lyrics it's hard to find the more up tempo songs dark.It's three songs in before we come across something that is darker with the song "Your Exploding Heads" . This is has more of a blues soaked swing to it.

One thing I can say this album has going for it is the song are not long drawn out jams like the Devils Blood could sometime wander off into . "You and Eyes" starts of with a great groove and then spaces out into more of a Pink Floyd place, but it works well dynamically. 'Return to Hallucinate" breezed by me the first so perhaps I was having a flash back. Upon second listen it finds it on par with the with rest of the psychedelic flavored rock presented thus far, the chorus having a little more drive than some of the other songs. "Rainbow Mouth" is not unlike sped version of  "Inna Gadda Davida" . 'Minotaure" starts off much slower and builds back into the pace that dominates most of this album.

On of the album's longest journeys is the closer "Anyway the Mind Flows" which is darker . This mood wise comes closer to doom. The chord progressions give more of a wink in that direction. While this song would go over well with fans of doom, I think the album is generally too upbeat for those who are into slow, deep and harder music. Some of the more progressive passages step back from the tension. This album is easy to put on and let fade into the background. It's well played and they have recreated the sound they are going for. I think the way this music can be a slave to the time period they are trying to take you back to is what causes it to falter in the originality department. I will give it an 8 as it has some strong moments in terms of song writing and fans of this sort of thing will enjoy it.

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