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Jeff McLeod — Not Good Enough
(Bandcamp no#, 2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-06-11

Not Good Enough Cover art

Jeff McLeod is an independent composer and musician from Montgomery, Alabama, who over the past two dozen years has released at least as many recordings as a solo artist, or with his groups Saragashum, Liquid Brick, Bert, Gowith, No, Vyathist, Cesspool Dreams, and countless others. Not Good Enough is a solo album in the truest sense, where McLeod plays all of the instruments and sings all the parts, an album which he describes as a “weirdo psych-rock proof-of-concept album about his unhealthy relationship with music.” It’s fair to say that the six tracks herein are pretty much all over the musical map, where the listener can expect just about anything to happen at any time. Instrumentation includes acoustic percussion, analog synths, plenty of guitar, dobro, mandolin, oddball sequencing methods and perhaps more. It’s not a long album, just over 31 minutes, but it takes in a lot of musical territory as it goes. Among the standouts are “Faking,” a dark twisted guitar journey that at times seems like it might be well suited for a western film, though the vocals and lyrics stand that idea on its head as the song gets ever stranger and more psychedelic as it proceeds, with mysterious vocalizations hovering steadily in the background. Not strange enough? Then maybe “Quaalude Eggs” fits the moment better, a purely instrumental piece that seems to be borne of layers upon layers improvisational guitar noodling with plenty of crazy effects. The dark and bluesy opening title track proceeds as an instrumental until its final minute where it finds some wordless accompaniment, while “Nonaudience” tracks some interesting chanting over a looped backdrop and chaotic guitar sounds, only to be taken a step or two further in an instrumental direction with the next cut “Parasitic Fictions.” Throughout all six cuts, McLeod alwayd finds the path of maximum strangeness to produce an album that is like no other.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Jeff McLeod

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