Years ago, I reviewed cassettes by Soul-Junk; cassettes of lo-fidelity spazzjazzimprovpunk, issued on the Shrimper label. Formed by Glenn Galaxy, a Truman’s Water alum, Soul-Junk then made a serious love offering to God with their music. Lineups have changed.
Even now, several recordings later (see http://www.souljunk.com for history), Soul-Junk are Christ-centric and as unashamed of that as they are taking musical risks. References — that may not be needed — include Albert Ayler, Pavement, and Anticon hip-hop. 1942 is new. Glen’s vocals are up-front and vulnerable, the music is a multi-layered smattering of Americana – not out of place in the hands of Palace or Royal Trux fans, and tucked between layers are farfisa, bells, toy piano, slide whistle and assorted gadgets. It’s more polished, for instance, than the earliest recordings, and not particularly bumpin’. Aw, heck. It is their thing. But you get to look at all those references, and maybe that helps.
So, for instance, on “Good As Dead,” a chorale arises in the song’s final moments after some contemplative guitars. Just builds up. Each song contains that feeling. This music escalates at varying speeds but clearly they juxtapose major/minor keys like great church hymns… so many of which were great pub tunes. Indeed, the closing minute of “3 Fascinating Smells” evokes mystery and comfort. This EP has no shortage of rock and roll, either. Daniel Smith of The Danielson Famile produced this. The collective sonic junk and honest philosophical approach Soul-Junk use in creating music reveals much about their motives — a true-to-self exploration of spiritual dimensions. Let’s see, sounds like Pascal and those guys from history.