The Bevis Frond

Triptych

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The Bevis Frond's third album -- like the previous two, essentially a solo affair -- finds Nick Saloman again exploring things his way, recording what he likes how he darn well likes it. The recording quality is audibly cleaner even only two official albums on from his debut with Miasma, but he loses nothing of his own individual approach to making the music. Some of his brightest, best hooks appear here -- it's no stretch to say that Roger McGuinn and company could have happily placed their own stamp on "Lights Are Changing," and Saloman delivers both music and lyrics with a warm, delightful air. Other comparatively calm but no less fascinating cuts include "Old Man Blank" and the (self-)conversational descending chime of "Hurt Goes On." The opening "Into the Cryptic Mist" is actually one of his most interesting, individual pieces, with a lovely central guitar part at the core, changing slightly as it goes while he adds everything from extra electric filigrees to keyboard solos over it. It's a good demonstration of his skills when not at full overdrive, though he does conclude the piece with one of his more expected nuclear-strength workouts. The second side, meanwhile, contains one of his monsters -- "Tangerine Infringement Beak," a nearly 20-minute-long number. A multi-part song that covers everything from expected full Frond fun to way cool keyboard solos over minimal grooves and back to chiming bells along with the feedback and more, it's a worthy treat. There's one delightful diversion early on -- "Debbie's New Song for Drums," which consists of the young person mentioned in the title having a quick little bash on things. It's a fun, unself-conscious move from someone comfortable in what he does and doesn't worry about always having to seem cool -- a very good sign.

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