Souled American

Frozen

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Maybe it's the way Joe Adducci's bass "lines" (for they are much, much less -- yet much, much more) hang in the night air. Perhaps it's guitarist/vocalist Chris Grigoroff's unearthly drawl extended -- usually painfully -- between sparse elements that are strangely reminiscent of folk songs. No matter what the reason, Frozen is simply one of the most appropriately titled collections of songs you'll likely lay ears on. This is the sound of country music moving like molasses in February -- or, rather, it's the sound of a band observing molasses in February and setting those observations to music. Souled American recorded this record (originally released in 1994 on the German label Moll) after the departure of its drummer and the remaining members' conscious choice to not replace him. Elemental to the extreme, the guitar, banjo, bass guitar, harmonica, and pedal steel are nearly stripped of their cultural musical associations and given a new sonic lease on life. The country twang in Grigoroff's voice (which often takes on the most heartbreaking Brian Wilson-esque falsetto) is so incongruous to the nearly ambient, sparsely textural guitar and bass sounds that are the framework for these songs, that one is forced to stop for just a moment more to reconcile the guitar sounds and patterns with anything resembling country or folk -- but it's there. Frozen is gorgeous if you give it enough time to chill you to the bone.

blue highlight denotes track pick