Gem Jones Admiral Frenchkiss

[Goaty Tapes; 2014]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: psyche-pop, melted bedroom, way outside, brain funktion’d, unentanglement
Others: Savage Young Taterbug, Ween, Tracey Trance, “…basi-Beatles,” Banana Head

Dear Admiral Frenchkiss,

Your creator, Gem Jones, has entranced me with your gross contortions of musical construction. As an introduction, “Black Lantern” not only raises cream to the top, but gets me symbiotically climaxing with every instrument crashing down within the melody: brass and percussion being resonated and blared; guitar strings chorded and stretched into a cat’s cradle; keys twinkling and organing with stark blissfulness; a bass line walking around a nine-foot circle; your reoccurring lack of focus throwing itself into a vat of noise that quickly strikes back to melody (only to be dropped once again); the chorus and feint singing like an angel harkening from the depths of darkness. I assume Gem Jones is frustrated with your tumultuous sound, Admiral Frenchkiss, as if you’re his own fire-hose-gone-lose monster.

To my bewilderment, I can’t tell if you’re laughing or crying in “Rock N Roll Dementia,” but either way, Gem Jones makes me emoticon. The way it’s conveyed is like an equally humorous and hateful retelling of your unbalanced brain-funktion’d take on the genre and how it works in the “modern music world”: outsider or A-lister. The song’s structural inconsistency is what is most noticeable to me while whistling “Rock N Roll Dementia,” the stability simultaneously skewed and fucked with when implementing a plethora of instruments and effects during spastic moments or — generally — toppling melody. Both the steady and spazzed-out moments are contained/composed within themselves, but drastically clash when put in order. My only thoughts of “helping” you is to sit back, subjectively listen, and then watch you spill milk everywhere.

When I find myself wading in “Shallow Rivers,” I can sit a minute or so and wash myself of the everything-at-once sonic maximalist surges that’ve been previously coursing through me. This miniature break is made possible through Gem’s delicate voice and exquisite rawk-piano playing. But this travel downstream is quickly interrupted by the harsh yet lightly-put reminder of “God in U.” No, I’m not a believer in deity and have an extreme lack of faith in everything, but the softness of the lyrics and the drums and the strums make me drift. It feels as though the swoon whisks me further into the paradise of who Admiral Frenchkiss IS just by the simplicity of nailing everything, right down to the brass beginning to (intentionally?) crack. And crackle and spiral. And rust. The relentlessly subtle rhythm section goes through background levels of steadiness, only to gridlock with monkey knuckles that untangle when the brass comes to a careful end. Everything glitches out into a fun house of electronics akin to electronic animal sounds and Looney Tunes melt. Though, I imagine your silhouette is that of a hat and chest, wet mustache, melted buttons, and twisted lapels.

Back around for the fry, “Grimeshock” appropriately ravages the previously lofty listening experience on Side A and goes full-on tongue with Side B; EVERYONE knows that being sweaty will get you too much muscle on your muscle. Picturing the noodle around a noose is no way to weave this preacher’s sermon. Once that deeper meaning hits your insides, “Grimeshock” goes into your organs and keys them ivories, as if you left the phone recorder on infinite recording time and Aunt Maude just listed off all her problems through a payphone that’s a quarter short of human. There’s a busted leg on the road and a tire is trying to jacket back in socket, but the nuts are all boltin’ and you ain’t got the insurance to tend to this sorta scat.

But, when the day is done, and Gem is all alone — trifly alone, Admiral Frenchkiss — “Ectomorphic Love” creeps up inside all of us, nuzzles around asymmetrical almonds and pussy-willowed tear-ducts: power becomes beyond sexuality and procreation. “Ectomorphic Love” is proof that spontification is not only a reel-word, but also something that can be layered musically. Lemme just take it back a minute and remember the first time music changed my life: it was on a cassette tape mixed and mastered in Eric Week’s living room, flipping and stretching and spitting on magnets. There is a point when you feel someone enter your body emotionally and psychologically, and the freewheeled Chinese finger trap that Gem implements by lubing a guitar through the strings of a piano ribboned by sun-bleached tape melts music into a form of internal bleeding. You’ve stolen my mind, soul, orgasm, and ears. Take what is left of my ego and make me whole once more. Flip that tape.

Bottom line: will you put your mouth onto my mouth?

C Monster

Links: Gem Jones - Goaty Tapes

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