JOHN ZORN: Psychomagia (2014)
John Zorn is slowing down somewhat in his old age, having only released 14 albums so far this year. While fresh young pups struggle to put out an album every year or two, and big megasaurs like U2 have to push and crouch and huff and puff to squeeze and clip one out every 5-7 years, Zorn is busy spraying out a new one every three weeks or so.
Contrary to what you’d expect from hyper-prolific, living-legend avant-garde wiseasses, most of these albums are actually pretty fucking good. This one on the other hand, is really, really fucking good. His weird cheesemaster phase where he’s making more and more palatable and conventional music (which started way back in 2001 with “The Gift” and which I tend not to be super fond of), is really starting to bear some sweet-ass fruit.
In general, instrumental rock music and rock/jazz fusion bores me to death. My attitude towards that stuff is basically “if you need to masturbate, do it in private in your bathroom. Doing it inside of my ears is just fucking rude. Sing me a song or tell me a story. Make yourself useful.”
But despite this being straight up rock format, drums, guitar and bass and playing surfy metal tunes with no lyrics, the looseness and virtuosity of the musicians make this a wonderful listen worth coming back to over and over.
I don’t know what’s written by Zorn and what’s improvised by the band (the band is Abraxas and zorn doesn’t play), but either way this is rock music made and played by actual virtuoso musicians, who have both the skill end energy to breathe life into the music. You don’t need words, the music is the words.
Well, why the hell are wasting your time reading this? Get this record and rock the fuck out.