Jack o' the Clock — Repetitions of the Old City - II
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-12-12
Picking up where they left off with last year’s superb Repetitions of the Old City - I, Jack o’ the Clock doesn’t disappoint with the sequel. I’m not really sure if the albums taken together form a conceptual whole, and I’m quite content not knowing. The music is outstanding in every way, presenting imaginative arrangements for mostly acoustic instruments, approaching rock only on occasion. The spirited and energetic playing, along with the imaginative arranging, make the general lack of electric guitar irrelevant as far as creating an impact in the listener. This can certainly be called “chamber rock,” which to my mind is often equivalent to “chamber music with a drum kit,” but it’s more than that. The combinations of instruments are constantly changing, with violin, viola, clarinet, sax, bassoon, and keyboards mixing it up with various percussion (including mallet instruments) and Damon Waitkus’ array of mostly stringed instruments, which includes hammer dulcimer, guzheng, banjo, mandolin, and more. Repetitions of the Old City - II is a beautiful album, and would be a standout in any year — I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’ve never heard the band, I’d recommend starting with the previous album, not because it’s better in any way, but just to get the flow of the music.
Related artist(s): Jack o' the Clock
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