Yesterday, around 10 a.m. I put this CD on at my desk at work and roughly 24 hours later it's still the only music I've listened to. True story. I don't know if there's a better testement than that for just how good an album can be.
CT's Elison Jackson has been on my personal radar for awhile now. I was blown away by last year's full length effort, Spectral Evidence, and had big hopes for any new recorded material. My expectations have been exceeded. Their new EP, I Do Believe She Flew Out the Drain Pipe (released on New London's The Telegraph Recording Company imprint) is hands down one of the best things you'll hear out of the CT music scene this year.
Elison Jackson has always had this sort of ethereal , ghostly quality to the brand of folk rock they peddle. However on this release they've taken their sound to new dark and secret places that it hasn't ventured as of yet. Songs like "Burned" and "Parking Lot" feel a little dangerous, the latter especially with its haunting backing vocals and nasty guitar work. There are moments on this EP where I feel like I'm suddenly launched into a David Lynch film even if only for a brief moment and that's not a bad thing at all.
Now this isn't to say that the dreamy, often surreal, folk rock that Elison Jackson perfected on their last album has vanished completely. Quite the contrary. Tracks like "Man From Lowell" and "New Britain Song" are toe-tapping, sing-a-long gems that fans will instantly recognize from their blistering live sets, the former even throwing in some well placed horns and backing vocals from none other than Daphne Lee Martin. "New Britain Song" actually may do the best job in culminating where Elison Jackson has been with where they are going as the song starts with a lovely piece of guitar work and culminates with driving guitar and bass lines that I wish they had seen through to a longer completion (my only real complaint with this record as they do it so well on stage).
The closing track, "Family Vacation" is just down right epic. It's the perfect ending to an album that already surprises and entices. The gritty guitar work, the organ (which is a more prominent and accomplished compliment on this album), just everything about it is ear candy to anyone who has a love of music from the 1960's.
This is truly a band that is hitting their stride and firing on all cylanders. They are at the top of their game artistically, lyrically, in every way really. Fans of Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground, The Byrds, Syd Barrett, and especially The Animals will rejoice over the authenticity and awesomeness of this album.