Martian Dog has the human name of Sam Hall, and he is located in the North East Georgia Mountains. He started out as Elysian Fields all the way back in 1976, so he’s no new-hand to the game, and his experience certainly becomes evident as soon as his music is heard. In Atlanta, Ga the original band played anywhere they could. They purchased a Tascam 38 8-track recorder and a studio board 3340 and got started. All their material was recorded on this gear in various apartments, garages, basements and living rooms around Atlanta. They lived the real rock star lifestyle, and you can feel that in the music. They released a cassette back in the ‘way back when,’ but quit the biz back in 1989, because that’s how life goes. They never stopped writing, recording and jamming, nonetheless, because music isn’t something you can switch off in the soul.
This ten-track release entitled Elysian Fields Music opens with “Wonder,” which is an upbeat song driven by frantic, fast-paced electric guitar arpeggios, a jovial chord progression underlying the music and pumping, catchy drumbeats rife with filler and real punch. Hall himself comes out with intimate, whispering and raspy vocals which sing about sitting around and wondering as psychedelic, distorted, frantic electric guitar solos whir and dance above his voice. This is an intimate and obscure experience all at once; emotional, clear and quiet lyrics from someone very human accompany sci-fi-esque, psychedelic instruments. work.
“Jungle Song” opens with a dark, haunting and piercing electric guitar melody which echoes and reverberates into infinity. Suddenly, a throbbing beat and ‘80s-esque synth progressions emerge from the near-silence, accompanied by screeching, biting electric guitar riffs and atmospheric, synthetic chords which float into and out of view. While I’m not too sure that Martian Dog offers anything particularly new to the table here, it’s undeniable that the combination of tender, soothing piano melodies, brutal electric guitar solos and the catchy ‘80s beat creates an impressive sound.
“Mississippi Mud” is driven by a slow, precise and measured drum beat, screeching, whirring and electrifying electric guitars, a slowing chugging, half-muted rhythm on a second electric guitar and big, powerful, ear-shattering synth chords which burst into view at intervals. It’s peaceful, sparse, and there’s a lot of empty space on the track. Nonetheless, this is what creates the sound for which Martian Dog was striving. Hall clearly wanted to create a peaceful, spacey experience here, and he has achieved that. Something unique about the electric guitar on this track is that the bending of notes is reverberated in just the right way to imitate the sound almost of a brass band.
This is an album from an experienced musician both in and out of the industry. His talents, as well as the talents of his bandmates, know no bounds. They should certainly strive to put out more music such as this, because creativity is never something people should give up on.
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