Colin L. Orchestra - Col
Colin Langenus, prime mover of the late, great, much missed Usaisamonster, calls "COL" is ode to records such as "Electric Ladyland," "The White Album" and "Check Your Head," eclectic records that blurred genres and reveled in the created stew. That fits. While there is still some of the jam aesthetic stressed in his other two solo records "Infinite Ease" and "Good God" (of which this is meant to be the final piece of a trilogy), "COL" impresses with its maturity as much as its mixing and matching. Who knew Colin L. was not only an able tunesmith, but a good, evocative singer as well?
The off-key shamanistic chanting that begins "Intro" is a short tease before the bursts open with infectious light guitar and soaring chorus."Keeper" follows with a wistful soul groove, a short frenzied Crazy Horse solo mixed in. Langenus' sonic explorations also range from blue-eyed space pop ("Told Ya') to country ("Jealous") to goth pop "("Long Nut").
Of the dozen songs, a few stand out above the rest. "Out Peace" offers the skewed shamanism promised by "Intro," though more developed and, yet again, with memorable melody. The fifteen minute "Always Be" rambles along amiably like a Dead track, though unlike many long-ish GD songs does not slip into self-indulgence or induce yawning. The groove is solid, the solos tasty and well-placed, and Colin's vocal is among the best he has recorded. The minimal, at time atonal acoustic "Naked Angel" is a solid American Primitive meditation. The other long track, clocking in at a bit over twelve minutes, is "Mendo Blues," an odd twisted Psych epic with Dead, Neil Young and downer funk elements, and also features abstract, outrageously profane, surreal lyrics.
"COL" was intended to be laid back and eclectic, and it sure is. But such is the talent of one Colin Langenus that even his lighter fare is fraught with risk and dark wood. The array of styles is generous but never awkward, and the music is always surprising and solid. With "COL," Colin L. may have shot arrows in all directions, but most were bullseyes.
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