Review: Gem Jones – Symphony in P (CGIFriday, 2012)

GFIFriday’s Gem Jones project drowns the listener in the sea of pure, tongue-in-cheek warped 80’s beach party anthems much in the vein of pre-“Far Side Virtual” era James Ferraro, although here much of the lo-fi murk is dropped and the whole monstrous (and hilarious at the same time) visage of crazy chillwave/hypnagogia and their most unhinged and energetic, is unveiled. There are so many references to weed and hedonism in this little cassette it’s scary (even for a blog named Weed Temple, dammit!).

But what is the strongest part of “Symphony in P” is how incredibly catchy it is, despite all the attempts to make it sound as “mutant” as possible – out-of-place distorted guitar solos crashing into pop melodies, harsh drones appearing out of nowhere in the middle of a song, delayed and reverbed vocals with changed pitch. What stands out here is the guitar work: the licks are truly funky and perfectly complement the vintage synthesizer background which provides head-bobbing, fresh beats. “Symphony in P” is a competent and fully aware hyper-parody of the teen lifestyles of not only the 80’s and 90’s, but the modern “teen life”, too. Because let’s face it: pizza, weed and skateboards won’t disappear anytime soon.

Buy the tape from CGIFRiday! 

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