JealousyJohn Bellows, Clean Your Clock MONIKER MADNESS

John Bellows: Clean Your Clock

Jealousy: 肐LES

Couple of interesting items on Chicago's Moniker imprimatur. John Bellows' Clean Your Clock comes from a lad who was, it is said, raised the son of pig farmers in Kentucky 行 always a good sign. Bellows moved to Chicago in '01 armed with his trusty Tascam four-track and a bunch of songs; the album was released in '05 in a limited-ed batch of CD-Rs, and has now been made available through Moniker. Conceivably, Clean Your Clock is redolent of a thousand other acid-frenched punkrock middle American kids with acoustic guitars and dreams of someone, anyone, hearing their music and having their life changed for the better. Mostly, he's Syd Barrett, the crucial difference being that Bellows is most likely relatively sane. Bellows too is not particularly ironic about his stuff, either, though that is something so deeply ingrained in people now that one never really knows...Anyway, he does seemingly sincerely bash out all and every manner of thrashing rockers and actually quite touching little paeans to this that and the other. Each and every song goes through some kind of aural grinder which allows Bellows' apparently infinite capacity for pop detritus to color and skew whatever it is he's trying to express, and it's most interesting how one can actually hear the slow corrosion of American roots music 行 country and blues especially 行 into the freaking anguished riffarama of circular acoustic guitars, shakers, booming bass drums, misc. sounds, whistles, one very cracked solo voice and the odd children's chorus. Thus John Bellows is psychedelic, you might say, yes, but note how mainly he's so good-humored about all this flushing-out he's got to do. More importantly, his tunes are catchy little m-f-ers, goofy, good-hearted and 行 wait, even more important 行 suggestive of great things to come.

Also on the Moniker label comes the Jealousy 肐LES LP, which is out of San Francisco and it too reveals nothing if not a very free and open mind about all sorts of darkly and creepily avant-progressive and non-genre rock & noise from the '60s to the '80s. But it's kinda sexy-glammy, too, in a sick sort of way. Songs, instrumentals & poetry is what it is, and it's got a San Francisco sound, freaked out by things, agitated and dissatisfied and basically intelligent. Ah yes, San Francisco: money, drugs, an urge toward some kind of culture as a way of life, and always this feeling of suffocating...fog....So 胕les was the debut album from Jealousy, whose music and presentation are modeled on Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville's Dream Machine, where the brain's alpha-waves make for a "drugless high"; the band's rhythmic pulsing produces a similar disorientation, and its icy menace does the rest. Song titles? 襑e誶e Having Your Children, "Drug Sore," "Attica" 襈ight Stalker"... This music sounds dedicated to change, has a kind of deep integrity with all its castigations of complacency and corruption in art itself and the rotting societies in which it festers. Jealousy are then psychedelic, literally (the music throbs that way), and in their world view 行 they see it as foul and evil and bad, but perhaps encouragingly so for how inevitably a different perspective will loom large on the horizon.

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