Jason Loewenstein - Spooky Action - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jason Loewenstein - Spooky Action

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2017-06-16

Jason Loewenstein - player of all instruments, producer, engineer, writer of genuine classics like Sebadoh's Flood and Careful - brings us his second solo album, 15 years after his first. Spooky Action was entirely self-produced and self-recorded, as one would expect.

After a short intro track, The One is the familiar sound of Loewenstein's bass, drums, vocals and guitar playing. Slightly unhinged Punk/Surf guitar lines compete with a monstrous bass. It's a heck of a lot of fun. The same combination of spidery guitar lines and monstrous bass are also at the heart of Navigate. Written using 'difficult' chords in difficult patterns, it fits in with Pavement at their least pop or Truman's Water. The vocal is slightly Husker Du. Machinery is a little more laid-back but with dual spidery guitars - there are at least 100 guitar riffs on this album. Correction comes in on a strange Art-Punk/Country riff. There is a legitimate chorus here that Loewenstein plays a ridiculously complicated guitar line all over. Loewenstein's ragged voice kicks off Dead to a drum accompaniment. This is actually a pretty straight rock song and it's welcome after 4 songs of Beefheartian Punk-Pop. Sunset One kicks off with another pretty classic riff before meandering off as Loewenstein plays all the notes and wanders through two or three other riffs in a kind of modern Dick Dale fuzz instrumental. New Rocker is exactly that - pretty classic with the same persistently meandering guitar lines and an explosive solo. The riff at the beginning of Superstitious is pretty Sebadoh as is the song, making it another welcome change at just the right time. The Fuck Out has another subverted Country riff and a persistent drum pattern. It is a return to the slightly off-kilter writing from the beginning of the album. Hey Hey is an urgent little pop song with even more quirky guitar lines. More of these lines start Fall Into A Line along with a huge Chris Squire-like bass-line. There's a similarly huge bass-line at the heart of Light The Room. At almost 6 minutes in length, it is something of an epic with twin lead lines and proper piano playing - very Axl Rose on November Rain (it isn't really, it's more like Pink Moon - once covered by Sebadoh). I am again getting something of Bob Mould about Loewenstein's vocal delivery.

Spooky Action is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it smash through 12, three minute, not-quite pop songs; played by a man who is more than proficient on all instruments. The writing and playing are difficult enough to interest all fans of 90s Lo-Fi. Jason Loewenstein also has so many ideas, it seems like there are 15 years' worth competing for our attention. A welcome return from an under-rated talent, still reassurringly fecund.


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