Presidential elections, the Olympics and Herman Jolly records
come every four years like clockwork. Outside his work with Portland
indie rockers Sunset Valley, Jolly has indulged in gin-soaked
country on Mad Cowboy Disease and the gentle folk and mellow
AM gold pop of Thanasphere. Where these are stuffed with sharp
humor, the gently psychedelic Bunker Life favors cryptic descriptions
of vague situations.
"Candy Stairs" states straight faced, "Bring back
comet/ helium face/ slink back shadows/ cut down the human race/ singin'
a new song to a little Cairo girl." The word puzzles smuggle
Beatles harmonies in an unvented truck fueled by Beck-ish
studio tricks. The unnecessary cover of "Yesterday" is overkill;
we get the Fab Four reference without it. Playful acoustic guitar
and lilting, almost apologetic vocals on "Get Dizzy" bring
up J. Mascis. A glimpse of his wit sneaks through when "Key
On A Kite" mentions a girl with a bloody baseball bat and a boy
with a bloody baseball head.
Like Andrew Bird's Weather Systems, take out the cleverness
and you're left with relaxing poetic intelligence. Jolly's MySpace
page claims he sounds, "Pretty much exactly like Pantera,
but tighter and with more drums." Let's see more funny stuff
like this in the music next time. Bob Dole would be Commander
In Chief had he showed more of his comedic side. Herman Jolly in 2011.
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!