JRK – Version 6
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Similar artists: Flaming Lips, Yes, MGMT, ELO
There’s a thin line between folks in starched white starched shirts diligently discussing their favourite sci-fi television shows, and similar-minded folks creating boundary-pushing music that hints at a brave new future. That’s the problem that the original host of prog bands ran into.
Somewhere along the way, they stopped sounding like mad scientists able to channel sounds that only they could hear, and started sounding like insuperable geeks focused on stroking their egos with songs consistently growing in length. Eventually, once the gig was up, most of those crazy prog-rockers ended up making pop hits anyway.
I’m happy to report that JRK’s Version 6 finds the group stuck in an exploratory mode for now. There’s a brightness and vigour to their sound. It’s all rather trippy, like a well-orchestrated soundtrack to a ’60s sci-fi B-movie. Vocals are stacked on top of each other, synthesizers make spooky noises, and if you want to play pretend, you can put a bowl on your head and make-believe you’re in a flying saucer. This is precisely the location where prog-rock should have stopped.
almost sex – Swallow
Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop
You don’t have to be a Catholic to feel ashamed of yourself and your urges, but, I hear it helps. How could you not be? Most of life is a never-ending series of urges, strange bodily functions, and the pursuit to keep those in check, in line, and in good working condition.
Even the most confident of people have to feel awkward about themself sometimes. Even the most ardent pleasure seeker must have one day reserved each week to reconsidering their purpose in the world. And, even for the people who are content with the way that nature has intended human biology to work, there are moments when not even pleasure is enough.
This awkwardness is perfectly captured by the duo of almost sex on the single Swallow. Yes, it’s music made in the great tradition of pop songs about not fitting in, feeling confused, and not understanding what to do next. However, the music is delivered in a kind and reassuring manner that makes this feel like bedroom-pop music made by a friend.