Cul De Sac

Cul De Sac

Immortality Lessons

Strange Attractors

Oh, Glenn. You don’t need critics, you love your band enough to completely bypass any possible comment anyone else could make. Let’s take the liner notes to The Epiphany of Glenn Jones, the album Cul De Sac recorded with John Fahey in 1997, in fact, just consider the title. Glenn Jones, despite feeling initially bad about things he’s recorded, invariably warms up to his material.

The live Immortality Lessons is no exception. Jones claims that his band felt the show was one of their worst performances, until later listening to a recording and realizing that it was the culminating statement in his band’s decade-long career. My only question would be, “Why can’t it be both?” This band seems to use guitar delay as the end-all and be all of their alleged “psychedelic” sound structure, which stripped away from all of the special effects seems to just be modal guitar wank. Like most of their work, Immortality Lessons shows an inexplicable fascination for music from other cultures (either something as broad as “indigenous” music or something as specific as Krautrock), never really establishing what their culture is, aside from a few surf guitar licks here and there.

In their favor, however, one or two tracks on Immortality Lessons seem to make the tiniest allusions to Brill Building pop, something that if accentuated could maybe subvert a lot of their much repeated formula. It’s just sad to see a band repeating themselves for almost a decade now, with no sense of growth, no new clarity on exactly what it is they’re doing, and unfortunately, not evening maintaining a sense of vitality and excitement towards their work.

Strange Attractors:

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