Soul Junk
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

1950 , 6/10
1951 , 5/10
1952 , 6.5/10
1953 , 6/10
1955 , 6/10
1956 , 6/10
1957 , 6/10
1958 , 6/10
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Soul-Junk e` il progetto di Glen "Galaxy" Galloway, ex bassista dei Trumans Water, convertito al Cristianesimo.

Con 1950 (Shrimper, 1993 - Holy Kiss, 1994) Galloway ha iniziato una serie di album dedicati a temi religiosi e registrati a casa in tutta umilta`. Lo stile, nel piu` autentico spirito "lo-fi", comprende tutto cio` che puo` essere suonato con strumenti economici, con una predilezione particolare per il free-jazz per sassofono e organo (The Lord's Saxophone).

Dopo due singoli, e` uscito 1951 (Shrimper, 1994), prodigo di alleluia altrettanto gioiosi per sassofono, organo e batteria. Peace Peace Peace e Soul Junk Theme sono anzi quasi professionali.

Decisamente piu` rock il successivo 1952 (Homestead, 1995), opera ambiziosa divisa fra CD (trentun brani, o tentativi di brani) e vinile (sedici brani). L'operazione assomiglia sempre piu` ai classici dell'amatorialita`, agli album-calderone degli Half Japanese e ai nastri casalinghi di Sebadoh. Questo e` il primo disco a vantare una vera formazione, ma il sound e` rimasto ultraprimitivo, e le liriche sono quasi tutte tratte dalla Bibbia e inneggiano a Gesu`. Il difetto principale e` la dispersione: si passa con disinvoltura dal punk-rock al free-jazz, da una filastrocca folk (Sweet To My Soul) a un blues delle piantagioni (In Your Sanctuary), dal garage-rock di Kingdom's Fruit al musichall demenziale di Cold-Coct The Coroner, dal pop puerile di Like The Sunrise, Ape The Rich, Apocalypso e Goose-Eggs agli strumentali dissonanti In Their Sea Thru Raincoats e Slo-Jam In The Endzone. Le uniche cose che assomiglino a inni religiosi sono Hi-Priest e Zion. Un disco piu` grande di chi l'ha fatto.

1953 (Homestead, 1996) is even too eccentric and eclectic. The christian rap of Junca De Sol Andromeda and Graveyard Style is intriguing for a few minutes, but too many tracks are trivial exaggerations of alternative rock cliche` (the punk-rock of Quite Alright Rockers, the angular pop of Poker Of The Eye) and too many sound like the same sarcastic sermon that he's been singing for years (Young Businessmen Psychik Makeout, Wax Presidential).
Galloway's christianity does get on the listener's nerves very early in the album. As a matter of fact, Galloway's genius is better on display in the surreal instrumental vignettes of Atonal Eternal and Three Thousand Thirsty Thoughts, that rival Pere Ubu's instrumentals. Unfortunately, the price to pay is the rest of the record.
What is usually a bonus track materializes here as a full-fledged 42-minutes "bonus record". Surprisingly (well, unsurprisingly, given the quality of the main record), the bonus tracks fare well, especially Put Wings On Things and I Blame You Stallion that could easily rank among his best.

1955 (Jackson, 1999) is an even more pretentious collection of hip hop. dub, reggae.

While still tinkering with the ruins of hip hop and drum'n'bass, 1956 (5 Minute Walk, 2000) may signal a re-discovery of the traditional song format by Galaxy, less cacophonous and free-form, and more keen on borrowing "ambience" from modern dance styles.

Unfortunately Galaxy keeps diluting his best material over several albums, wasting the opportunity to produce one great album. 1957 (Sounds Are Active, 2002) and the EP 1938 (SDRecords, 2002) overflow with eccentric and powerful ideas, but also contain an amazing amount of filler (particularly the latter). The album is less cohesive than previous ones and relies on the occasional well-formed paradox to succeed: Non-Linear, Horse Posing as Unicorn, Ungst Func Slag Collision, Innerspacemen, Vesuvius. Galaxy keeps displaying a talent for more conventional formats, whether dreamy trip-hop balladry (Jelly Wings) or the vernacular of roots-rock (Ruby Doomsday).

Galloway seems to be getting more chaotic and dissonant as he gets older. 1958 (Sounds, 2003) is his most incohesive and anarchic work yet, surveying the entire spectrum of musical genres and dispensing of regular rhythm as if it were a distraction.

Quiver Society (2007) opened a new project: singing the whole Bible, starting with the first 23 psalms.

1953 (Homestead, 1996) continua nella sperimentazione anche troppo eccentrica (una bonus track che dura 42 minuti, arrangiamenti elettronici, una varieta` stilistica che rasenta il delirium tremens).

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