GEM JONES "Admiral Frenchkiss" (Goaty Tapes

Mix funk wah-wah guitar with bubble bobble tone synths, Animal on the drums, Some Mike Watt frantic bass lines, and make sure all the players understand how to construct advanced level r&B indie rock.

This band doesn't have a weakest link. I have few complaint about this cassette. If I'm being fascist, I'd say the lead singer is less than American Idol material with his strung out weez lyrics punctuated by backing guttural screams, but this is what keeps Gem Jones low-fi and a standout in the department of endearment. It's counterbalanced by how well constructed Gem Jones's melodies are.

There's a good range of mood on this six song release as well. Shallow Rivers takes everything down a notch, mixing analog piano with mangled octave up vocals. God in U changes up the rhythm to emphasize the upswing giving the song a reggae feel. Ectomorphic Love sounds like a Prince love ballad tripping on Molly due to its outer space keyboard explorations, and the guitars have a on the edge Pavement feel until the solo kicks in which is straight up 70ties guitar god sound. The whole vibe is similar to Ween's "Monique the Freak".

Cassette Gods gets so many electronic do-hicky music produced by robots, that or genre rock that sounds like a band doing their best impression of their music heroes, Gem Jones is a nice change of pace. High recommendations.

-- Jack Turnbull


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