Jessamine

Another Fictionalized History

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A most convenient and welcome compilation of the band's various singles and contributions to multi-artist albums, as well as a few extra goodies here and there, Another Fictionalized History shows that, even in short bursts, Jessamine could deliver the goods. Admittedly, some of those bursts weren't so short; a song like "Reflections," an eternally bending-upon-itself up-and-down flow of delay, flange, reverb, and every other guitar effect seemingly known to the world, takes eight minutes and is worth every second. It's interesting to hear the band evolve its own sound out of its clear inspirations; the earliest available song, "(I'm Not Afraid Of) Electricity," from 1992, has a total My Bloody Valentine fetish in its crumbling, queasy guitar chaos. Elsewhere the band explores both its tendencies toward gentler moodouts ("Soon the World of Fashion Will Take an Interest in These Proceedings") and darker, glowering numbers like "Air From Another World," which sounds as creepily alien as its title suggests. "The Moon Is Made of Cheese" is another winner, the rhythm section keeping the steady pace while Ritter and Brown build up weirder and more unnerving explorations on guitar and keyboard as they go. Two covers fill out this excellent collection -- "Oscillations," a take on the Silver Apples song, the second of two such remakes of that band, the other being the joint take with Spectrum's Sonic Boom on "A Pox on You." While the arrangement isn't too notably different, the combination of Ritter and Smithson's voices in place of Simeon's makes for a nice twist. Another Sonic favorite gets the nod with the other cover -- the album opening "Cheree," Suicide's weirdly pretty ballad getting a fine if not notably different revamp. Fun extra touch: the obvious vinyl scratches that surface between a few songs, possibly because there was no other source to use.

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