The disjointed psych of Skyjelly has been percolating in my system for a few weeks now and I’m just getting a chance to sort it all out. Doomtrip Records pulled together a double album drop that culls some of the band’s previously self-released recordings along with a cadre of new tracks in tow. With regards to nailing an aesthetic, Skyjelly won’t let themselves sit still for too long; weaving a sound that pulls at strings of psychedelic pop, clattering blues and the shantytown shakedown that gives Goat a sense of displaced appeal. They have the heart of the old guard beating somewhere at their core (there’s a distinct, but faded “Sympathy For The Devil” simmer on the balk half of “Acosta”) but they digest most of them completely and work things into a sort of hybrid hairball of psych explosion that has the modern sense of being inundated with as many inputs and influences as a day spent on YouTube could offer.
Skyjelly Jones and his crew of strange travelers don’t spend the whole of the record(s?) kicking up dust though, there are plenty of moments when the sound comes down to a hushed, yet pulsing, thrum. On the simmering “Subway Rider” the band evokes the rootsy loose ends of Gomez’ softer side. Elsewhere, “Catherine’s Rabbi” also takes on a ’90s sense of rhythmic yet tender pop. Each of the pieces acts as an interesting bit of the puzzle that’s forming over the course of Blank Panthers / Priest, Expert, or Wizard, and even without the caveat that its two distinct albums, there’s a lot of spice hitting the stew here. But, on the whole, the band makes it work. They juxtapose and jam their plate full of what works and offer it up under the umbrella banner of psych. This may not be their definitive statement, but its making some nice promises.
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