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Jack Irons
Attention Dimension
Breaching Whale Records

Sometimes it amazes me, the amount of music one person can make. Jack Irons was the drummer in Pearl Jam for a good bit of their explosive career, and has also done time with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eleven, and even Les Claypool (who also makes an appearance on this recording). He is an amazing drummer, and on Attention Dimension proves that he can also put together some amazing soundscapes, handling all writing, production and recording chores himself. That is quite a feat for anyone to pull off well, and Jack does not disappoint.

The music on Attention Dimension is almost completely instrumental, with only a few songs adding touches of vocals here and there. This makes for what seems to be a new age record, although with Irons' heavy drumming, the effect is much more tribal than your run of the mill easy listening. So, after the very lightly played, saxophone heavy first song, "Jackie Groove", the real meat of the album begins. The drums get heavier and much more pronounced and focused, becoming the center of the songs… which is exactly the way it should be with a solo album from a drummer/percussionist. Instrumentation is varied and there are some other great musicians joining Irons on the record, including Flea, as well as Pearl Jam bandmates Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament, and Stone Gossard. Standout tracks include "Hearing It Doubled", which is a frenetic snare driven track with some cool heavily effected vocals (the first ones on the record) that follow very cool rock melody lines (I always end up singing the Guess Who's "American Woman"). The version of The Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is interesting, but lacks anything in substance other than the incredible drumming. "Underwater Circus Music" is a tremendously vibey groove, with nice touches of synthesized clavichord. The sitar heavy sounds of "Dunes" would make a nice touch to any easygoing mixed tape, or possibly a track for some soundtrack somewhere, with its very Middle Eastern sounds and rhythms. "Come Running" is about as close as you get to a pop song on Attention Dimension, with cool Adrian Belew style guitars and an infectious rhythm track.

This record brings together the worlds of new age music and rock/psychedelia nearly flawlessly. It is an odd combination, but one that works well in the hands of the quite capable Irons. Probably best suited for listening by those aging boomers who still are young enough at heart to want to rock a bit, but are no longer capable of listening to the current stream of hard rock artists. Of course, those who are drummers themselves, or those who want a great collection of tribal drumming to get their booties moving, will also benefit from owning this album.

-David DeVoe

Track Listing:

1. Jackie Groove
2. Suluhiana
3. Ocean's Light
4. Hearing It Doubled
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
6. Underwater Circus Music
7. Dunes
8. Come Running
9. Water Song
10. Breaking Sea
11. Aquaman's Electric Band

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