Arkansas brings a surprising band with a great new release on Couch Jackets – Go To Bed. Recorded in Nashville, TN, this is not your average music coming from that area, as they tend to weave everything from punk and psychedelic pop factors with progressive rock and other forms to mystify with. The band features guitar and vocals by Brennan Leeds, Harry Glaeser on keyboards, Ben Eslick on bass and vocals, with Hunter Law on drums. Together they play like a much bigger ensemble would sound, with more playfulness than seriousness in their songwriting, but make no mistake they are first rate musicians.
“Sideways Chicken” is a cool little introduction piece that runs by very quickly not to be dismissed as the albums lead off number. It’s just a brief track before the album gets seriously cooking. “Pillos N Rillos” is where the whole thing proceeds to shine and go from there with topic about a mobster who takes aim at his enemies with cream pies of all things. You can’t make this up very easily, and there’s quite a musical journey of a song to back it. You get bombarded by this without question after the first track doesn’t prepare you for what’s to come, but it’s supposed to. That’s where the mystery comes in and surprises.
On “Vicious Children” they go for broke with likely one of the best achievements on the album. It starts out with some background talk before the music gets massively interesting and that’s putting it lightly. I’ve never heard anything quite like this, as it really works wonders on the senses so much you wonder how all the music is coming from just four guys. They musically outdo themselves on this one track which definitely gets my attention the most. But the album is very progressive in the lighter sense of the term. Whatever can be said about, the consensus is that it’s a brilliant accomplishment.
“Don’t Think, Just Breathe” is about all the lies and general dishonest being bandied about in the media and television in general, and both the symptoms and the resulting backlash of it. See the video for this song for more on what it’s all about. It’s followed up by a great contender as well for the cream of this crop of tracks in “Elephant Tusk (Helluva Musk)” which takes the band in every imaginable direction they can go in, with an overall darker approach with a brooding sound that comes at just the right point thus far.
Other tracks like “Kathy’s All Woman” help switch up the vibes and keep the main theme of the album going strong as it wares on. The vocals have a familiar ring to them here and it’s very welcoming but hard to nail this bands influences down. This is essentially another great track though, and really brings out the progressive rock edges of Couch Jackets music. “Hit The Sack” is also included as a set up for the next song, so it only runs at just over one minute. This provides a little texture before “Tropical Jungle Book Hour,” which is enormously satisfying, as is the superior “Oh Possum, my Opossum” leaves you completely wanting more. It’s that mesmerizing and then some.
-review by Jodi Marxbury