Sacred Bones Records (label)
04 May 2020 (released)
04 May 2020
This is a sanity project for this thespian. These songs have been a long time coming, gestating, incubating, fermenting and by impressing (on) film director Jim Jarmusch they’ve ended up on amongst the procreative roster on Sacred Bones.
The influence of the Beatles shows no signs of abating. Almost 60 years since their global emergence inspired bands across the planet to write, create and articulate their ‘own’ singular thoughts and feelings and 50 years since their split, actor Caleb Landry Jones (‘Get Out’, ‘Antiviral’) is the latest to delve, derive and draw from the aesthetic architecture the Fab Four constructed. However, fear not, this isn’t a Russell Crowe type grab at street-cred nor a Johnny De(s)pp(erate) plea to ‘please, please see me as a rock and roller’.
History repeats itself, in the Beatles’ case, first as farce then as tragedy. From The Rutles’s loving homage to Oasis’ litigious larceny (Neil Innes from the former sued the latter for appropriating without credit for 1994’s ‘Whatever’) and through to such concept rock operas as Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat out of hell’ and Jeff Wayne’s ‘The War of the Worlds’ their melodious Merseybeating and arch orch-pop still resonates. Plus, throw in Marc Bolan’s glambiguous excursions (‘I want to love you’) and the freakish follies of the mysterious The Legendary Pink Dots on ‘No where’s where’s nothing died (A marvellous pain)’.
Taking ‘Revolver’s transcendental treatise ‘She Said, She Said’ and then sprinkling parts of Sgt Pepper, Magical Mystery tour and the White Album as solid seasoning Landry Jones weaves Edward Lear/Lewis Carroll type surrealist nonsensical titles (‘The Hodge-Podge Porridge Poke’) and lyrics with a (dis)affected Lennon nasal rasp.
However, a plastic pastiche this ain’t. Sequenced seamlessly the album is thematically infused with that which is unseen beyond the five senses, the before and afterlife, the shaky constructions of ‘reality’ and the perils of egoism, it’s an affecting journey to the boundaries of the intellect and the tips of the taste buds.
Opener ‘Flag Day/The Mother Stone’ sets the controls for carnivalesque careening, a Helter Skeltering lucid dream worthy of Alice Cooper’s schlock-horrorshow-boating. The closing ‘Little Planet Pig’ signals the End, an end of a beginning that starts another beginning. Let’s get metaphysical.
The album is comprised of several medleys with one ‘All I am in you/The Big Worm’ and ‘The great I am’ managing to situate Kurt Cobain’s pained grungenomics within a nightmarish psyche-collapse. A darker Nirvana.
This is a lengthy trip, a delirious hour-long descent towards, from, nowhere, somewhere to and everywhere been so saddle up and enjoy the (ticket to) ride.
If, as Wilde’s dictum declares, ‘talent borrows, genius steals’, call the homage police, Landry Jones is the (f)lawless.