Jan-Simon : Brant Bjork is a busy man. That is the first thought after getting hold of Jacoozzi, the man his latest studio album. The fourth one in less than two and a half year, live album Europe 16 included. However, sometimes things are not what they seem, like this time. Jacoozzi is not really a new album; it is a solo project in the real meaning of the word solo. It cannot be more solo than this, because we hear Brant Bjork on drums and percussion, Brant Bjork on bass and Brant Bjork on guitar. Ten songs recorded in 2010 during sessions for an album that never materialized. One can almost picture it: a studio in the Californian desert at the end of another working day. The musicians have gone home, or are lingering a bit with a cool drink, enjoying the evening. Bjork on the other hand cannot find any rest and stays in the studio. He sits down behind the drum kit and creates some ruffles and rolls. chuggadiggidiggiKATdiggidiggichuggaschagadadazzzz diggididiggidiKAdumbadum. The drum rolls grow into rhythm tracks and as it is a studio, everything is recorded. The next days the sessions for the new album continue and Brant Bjork keeps playing with his hobby tracks in his spare time. The unfinished recordings for the album are still shelved, but the improvised jams that ended up as Jacoozzi have finally been released on disc. .
The songs are a bit like the scribbles in the margin of medieval books, made by monks who wanted to try out a new quill before starting on another illumination. They are starts of songs, often not much more than that. Bjork tries out a riff, looks at it from all different angles and then continues with another tryout. The best proof of this is the fact that only the final song on the album has vocals. That[/I]s a pity because in my opinion there are two things that make a Brant Bjork album interesting: the laidback guitar licks and the trademark voice of Bjork himself. Jacoozzi therefore is not an earlier than expected follow-up to Mankind Woman. It is a filler, something for diehard fans only. Yet this does not mean it is all doom and gloom. One would almost want more of such leftovers being released instead of the uninspired dime a dozen retrorock that is churned out on a daily basis. The way Brant Bjork jams in Guerilla Funk and Mexico City Blues is amazing. Swinging songs built on a happily galloping drum track, complemented with flowing bass and a Santana-esque guitar. Done all by himself. After hearing such a song, the fact that it sounds unfinished and a bit messy is no longer important. One small piece of criticism before we continue to drum along on the edge of our desk: most songs are sounding that much the same that one almost thinks the album is on repeat. It is a small matter, but it has to be said.
Where was I?
ChuggadiggidiggiKATdumchuggaschagadadzzzz diggididiggidiKAdumdum. Etcetera.