From Georgia comes Jerry on the Moon, a six-piece jam band with many leanings, mostly funk and blues. The core of their style is extended solos and an energy that keeps their songs ever-changing. Members rotate vocal duties on Old Age Comes to Those Who Wait and each song has at least one moment where things unwind and everyone involved gets loose. This approach lends a live feel to the recordings and makes for a fun and addicting listening experience.
Opener “All the Same” serves as a good benchmark for what Jerry on the Moon do. More time is offered to the playing than the lyrics, with great ascending and bending guitar work at the forefront. There's a real sense of spontaneity and flexibility to it. “Fight No More,” a reggae tune hinged on a foreboding bass, ends with an extended jam that defies simple definition: a remorseful funeral procession along a snare-laden beat gains speed into what I can only describe as a moment of sci-fi warp speed, reaching deep down, echoing and booming as it races into a more traditional classic rock guitar solo, then sci-fi again, then solo, then sci-fi again, before the eventual muted collapse. “Wasting Time” undergoes similar though less dramatic metamorphoses, almost as though it's following a film's act structure.
The band explains that their lyrics somehow relate to their personal journals. The resulting mix of stories is a bit eclectic, though it blends together rather nicely given what musical elements they have in common. “Hay Mama,” a blues number with a thick groove and snippets of flare from the band's horn section, is a somewhat unusual but encouraging look at a hard-working woman's life, repeating the line “stay at home and lay down by your baby's side.”
On the more abstract side of the scale is “Tomorrow,” the slow turning Eastern psychedelic closer. Equal parts accepting defeat and expectation of something greater to come, the song creates an uneasy and at times joyfully disorienting feeling. Thematically it fits in nicely with the previously mentioned “Fight No More” and its promise that “there will be no rest until there is no war” and “I said I got no problems with you my friend/we'll leave the fighting to the others and the government.” The diversity of what they want their songs to say is impressive to say the least.
It's rare that a group can recreate the live experience in studio, but Old Age Comes to Those Who Wait manages just that and refuses to stay still. The range and complexity Jerry on the Moon put on display here is something I hope more acts would strive for.
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