Album Review

Oxenberg, Dan + Bear Galvin +Friends (Pillow Mt. Conspiracy) – "Early Abstractions Vol. 1" – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/20/2020   12-inch, A Library

Frogs in a blender, punchline to a tired joke, but for KFJC listeners it might be one third of the recipe for this album. On first listen, my sonic blender had the Frogs + Ivor Cutler + “Final Relaxation” (that ol’ fools’ Golding with Hamburger helper). Better peeps would detect Supreme Dicks, Oxenberg’s group of yester-ear. Anyways, this 2019 album has a sorta gentle creepiness, that and the occasional wheezy organ brought Cutler to my mind.

More acoustic than the twin-lead tweakery of the Dicks, but electric six-strings and electronic other things make this more than a freak folk flyby. That and there’s a deft hand in the sequencing. Side B launches so well, “Waves” with your captain speaking, then a laminitis lament for “Barbaro” followed by an instrumental tonic dedicated to “Fernado Rey” with its reverbed electric piano tinkering at windmills and flowing right into “Troubled Waters” – twisted wistful and definitely where the Relaxation kicks in. Other elements tucked in include the headphone smile of “Banjo Coke” and some scene stealers from “Welcome Home Johnny Bristol.” Definitely an album that grew on me…it’s never too late for Early Abstractions.
-Thurston Hunger

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