Califone

Califone

Califone

Heron King Blues

Thrill Jockey

Califone’s Heron King Blues is the American answer to UK rural post-rock masterpieces like Movietone’s The Sand and the Stars and Appendix Out’s The Night is Advancing. What makes these albums so interesting is the integration of archaic, eastern and unknown instruments (fretless banjo? shinai reed? matrix organ? anyone?) into a traditional folk setting while still keeping a very current soundscape rife with cascading electronics. As far as this album is concerned, the lazy, meandering and improvisational feel of a psychedelic jam band is created throughout, but without the bloated self-aggrandizement. The stock twenty-minute guitar jams are swapped for songs like the fourteen-minute title track, which transforms from tribal funk into ambient twang and murky beatnik jazz before peaking with a free form freak out. There’s hardly a rehashed sound to be found on this song.

Lyrically, Califone takes a much less linear path than their British peers. Take, for example, the opener, “Wingbone.” Its references to “orange sound” and dropping constellations give the album an air of peyote-induced campfire visions. Images like these careen seemingly theme-less throughout the album on the first couple of listens before the Heron King’s story begins loosely taking shape. The lyrics complement the instrumentation perfectly, creating a joyously gonzo album perfect for any late summer Hunter S. Thompson-style escapades yet to be wrought.

Thrill Jockey: www.thrilljockey.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives