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Published: 2004/06/30
by Jeremy Sanchez

gorjus: fighting Bockman’s euophio – Bockman’s Euphio

self-released

First: You probably wonder what the hell Bockman's Euphio means. The fabled "Bockman's Euphoria" is a space void propelling bliss-radiating radio signals. Kurt Vonnegut created it in his short story, "The Euphio Question."

The point: If it's really possible to tune into and transmit the Euphoria, prospectors should find a new fountain to hunt. This one's tapped.

"Patience" is radio playable through its first four-minutes-plus. Boring singing (not bad, but boring) and a simple march isn't preferred first impression material in the jam world, a downfall cushioned by Euphio's actual skills. Where you'd expect a pop tune to end for commercial break, a promising growth forms from a wash of chimes. Carroll's brazen technical drumming scouts while Reeves' bass warbles a melancholy soundscape for Weir's piano to dance within; intermittent vocals sound like Weezer here, and that's okay.

"Gorjus" begins as spoken word about two tense lovers. "But pretty soon there was just too much to talk about. Not to mention there were skittles lying everywhere and they were crawling like ladybugs through the carpet strands." It snaps into a roller coaster air-raid siren frenzy that sounds like Jazz Mandolin Project. Reviewer's relief: this album packs some gems. Carroll's whiplash drumming and Canan's ability to draw his guitar's scream into juicy chord progressions feed the JMP comparison. Their jazz background should suit live-jam addicts. Carroll and Weir share a short-but-sweet braid of grimy passion 4:35 into the song, a braid that shouldn't have been cut so soon.

Other JMP sound-alikes, baring any lyrical content, are "Cold Front" and the instrumental "Slipping Spider." Weir's springboard synth effects and piano runs bring to mind Wile E. Coyote spinning his wheels for traction.

"Blues Off" provides a cool off from "Gorjus'" 1/16-note speed and a hint of Reeves' poetic ability. Lyrics reminisce about childhood. "My imagination kept a plastic rifle and a tree-limb bow and arrow." Comfort is offered in maturity. "Take your shoes off, leave 'em by my door…Take your blues off. They won't cost you any more." If his songwriting skill matures in this line, their music may not have to push alone.

"Reverie" uplifts musically and contributes the first A+ vocals on the disc. Though, Carroll remains the constant and this could very well become one of the few bands known mostly for its drummer (like Galactic's Stanton Moore): "Reverie"'s go-go switchback finds an addictive snap before Canan lays into an Allman-Brothers-esque guitar tease. "Reverie" is a nitrous shot in this album of mostly creepers.

"Pusher" has one of the best lines on the list. "Stuck in a frame, stuck in a glaze. Caught between a gaze and a phrase." What imagery! Metalheads would drool over the grind that follows, at least until it jumps back into the more contemplative bass groove.

Vocal harmonies on "From What to Where" taste like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, intentional or not, offering the best burn on the disc. There is enough great music packed in between sporadic snooze along the path that you should be happy to make it this far and into "Away King," the album's final track.

"I'm away king for you" is repeated over-and-over in a somber sing-a-long peaking through inserted reggae hiccup movements. I played it through a few times in a row to revel in its simplicity.

What variety! It's good to know that the great Bockman's Euphoria isn't a Clear Channel presentation. If you can simmer through a few unimpressed moments, Bockman's Euphio will undress and you won't leave.

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