bass monster


   The first album from Jay Chilcote's (of the Revolutionary Hydra) newest project, Slomo Rabbit Kick, is called Bass Monster Lives in the Bass Forest. The title comes from a misattributed quote of Phil Elvrum's.

   Book ending the album are two longish (and that's a relative term with this project) tracks that set the so-called stereo Field of Mars. Each bookend song, the first of which is entitled 'The Most Beautiful Girl He's Ever Known,' comes to us in three parts. In 'Most Beautiful,' for instance, there's a wake-up instrumental bit with distorted lead guitar projecting a narrowed, preparatory melody. This leads precipitously to the middle section, which bursts forth with the dramatic stereo introduction of Farfisa keyboard melodies, one bedrock and chromatic, the other staccato bright and tip-toeing above everything else. Finally, the third movement in 'Most Beautiful' arrives almost shyly, a plaintive, acoustic guitar and vocal only progression - the first vocals so far - asking if anyone listening has ever seen the most beautiful girl he's ever known. It takes pains to describe this first song because it serves as both an overture and a coda for all that follows.

   In between the bookend songs there are quite a few shortish pop songs in the much-beloved and equally ballyhooed Guided By Voices vein. One example is the memorable 'You Say Device, I Say Logo' with its socialistic enthusiasm; another is the even shorter art school lament 'Nikolai.' 'WYSIWYG' is the obvious hit, with its Farfisa knuckles, guitar bursts and slackerland accusatory monologue. Other tracks are deliberately more vulnerable, banjo statements that hand-propel the theme of loss forward. Scattered throughout are the interesting and interstitial detritus and errata of a home recording studio: meowing cats, bicycle horns, accordion, banjos, all marbling the masonry of detachment.