Slumberland | Sea, sea, sea, drifter / See, see, see, drifter
Consouling Sounds (LP/CD/DL)
Belgian sound artist Jochem Baelus is Slumberland and Sea, sea, sea, drifter / See, see, see, drifter is the follow-up to 2014’s self-titled debut (on Dutch imprint Zesde Kolonne). This record wastes no time to move right from the point. Of no return that is! This is a wayward jazz-goth jam with inflections of Nick Cave, Johnny Cash (on Manta Ray) and Peter Murphy. Rashomon opens its mouth and swallows the room. Everything is just slightly off, slightly left of center. Riffs without an obvious core, this opens like a queasy 4AM drunken stroll around a darkened apartment with the after-effects of the evening prior just kicking in.
FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK….: With all the obtuse friction aside, this offers peculiar spaghetti western-style twang, meandering with a blurry fervor. On one hand it’s a tip of the hat to early 80’s new wave/punk crossovers like Wall of Voodoo and The Alarm, with percussion that sounds etched out of The Clash’s pocket or even Morphine’s playbook. The drumkit is elaborate and full-on. It snarls with attitude on Roomers of Rumours and elsewhere throughout. It’s impassioned and somber where it needs to be, dare I say, a post-modern PJ Harvey.
FULL TILT: Aside from all the semi-conscious references (on his, not my part), I think it is safe to say this thing rocks. This unfolds like a great fable, sung and spoken as if around a campfire sharing ghost stories. Though this comes from a European artist who builds installations and tinkers with the jangling side of rock n’ roll, it sounds as if it came strait out of the American South, Deep Down Yonder has the retro stylings of many a crooner who have come and gone (with a big toe slightly dipped in the forsaken waters of early Jesus & Mary Chain).
Reference-o-rama makes this a bit of a La Machine amalgamated blend of many of the above, yet the finished product is so fresh it hurts so good.