Mushroom

Glazed Popems

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    8
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Glazed Popems is a specially priced double CD of instrumental jams featuring one disc ("London") that was inspired by late-'60s psychedelia and acid folk (e.g., the Incredible String Band) and one disc ("Oakland") with a funkier fusion and progressive rock sound. In addition to references to the Beatles, Bert Jansch, Led Zeppelin, and the site of a major '60s music festival ("Isle of Wight"), the song titles on the "London" disc display a playful sense of humor that is reflected in the band's performances (although the best title, "Just Because Nobody Understands You, That Doesn't Mean You're an Artist," corresponds to the weakest track on the disc). The musicianship is generally impressive, including standout work by guitarist Erik Pearson, most notably his soloing on "Pink Island" and interplay with pianist Brian Felix on "You and I Have Memories, Longer Than the Road That Stretches Out Ahead." The musicianship is equally impressive on the second disc, with standouts including saxophonist and woodwind player Ralph Carney. The group settles into a smooth, relaxing quiet storm groove on "Tonite Let's All Make Love in Oakland," which features Pearson on flute, and "Blues for Bobby Seale," which features Michael Rinta on horn instruments. The band also ventures into post-rock territory in the appropriately titled "This Goes Squonk!," and you can hear traces of Krautrock influences as well. Despite the range of influences and total running time of over 90 minutes, Glazed Popems holds together as a coherent and listenable album.

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