The Coctails - Long Sound
Carrot Top Records
Half-way through "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald quickly
steps through the title character's bouts with insomnia and restlessness
to discuss the simple torments that accompany the nighttime. Darkness is
portrayed as the holder of mystery and inspiration through which eventual
sleep is the only certainty. LONG SOUND, the 1993 release by THE
COCTAILS, explores those same ideas methodically yet experimentally with
their familiar "not exactly jazz" vibrations.
Slower and more plodding than THE COCTAILS' other albums, LONG
SOUND makes up for its intentional down-playing of feverishness with what
will undoubtedly sound more and more like a hand-crafted harmonic
philosophy of the world; the same kind of philosophy that seems to leave a
person satisfied and content after a few hours of bed-ridden, tucked-in
sleeplessness. Beginning with the first track, "Steam," remorse, fret,
and denial lay on thick, waiting to be rescued by an understanding. Help
finally arrives four songs later in the exhilarating "Tenement," wherein
separate lone notes piece together favorably enough for Track 6's
"Twilight For Henry" to apply them in a new personal revelation. The
excitable and unforgettable "Clown's Coffee" kicks off the concluding
three songs, each of which effectively calms, soothes, and reconstructs
the dilemmas of conscious existence until dreamland arrives to lead into
the next morning.
Expertly using elemental forms to tackle a complex concept, LONG
SOUND succeeds as an unassuming venture into musical proficiency. Indeed,
sly Gatsby, the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy's wing.
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