March 1, 2007

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Glenn Jones, Against Which the Sea Continually Beats
Strange Attractors, 2007

Since 1989, Jones has led Boston-based avant-garde outfit Cul de Sac, who eventually found not-exactly-fame as the soundtrackers of Roger Corman’s The Strangler’s Wife in 2003. Suddenly in 2001, Jones decided that his long-abandoned acoustic guitar was his salvation, and he was immediately taken under the collective wing of various stalwarts signed to Takoma Records at one point or another, a semi-adoptive homecoming that inspired Jones’ recent cracks at guitar-solo albums. Since then, many’s the free pass Jones has enjoyed from genial local critics, who profess to bask pleasantly in Jones’ take on the new “guitar soli” breed of sound, an Ayn Rand-ish approach requiring the instrumentalist to lead with their emotions rather than resort to boring old tricks like melody and empathy. Intense minor and augmented chords are omnipresent here, leaving this more of a private trip than something you’d invite to a dinner party, and sometimes it gets downright nerve-wracking — all eight minutes of “David and the Phoenix” come off like variations on the opening theme from River’s Edge. C+ Eric W. Saeger