John Garner - Movie Night
Released: November 20
Movie Night is a rather peculiar album that implements a number of aspects from jazz and modern classical, then succeeds in making all of those elements exceedingly and wonderfully weird. Some of the tracks keep the hectic atmosphere to a minimum while others are determined to give every musician in the band their own solo at the exact same time. It is truly all over the place in the best way possible while still maintaining a distinct possibility of being a soundtrack for some kind of period film. Among all this neoclassical chaos, there is something deeply captivating about the compositional techniques at play, both in their variety and the commitment to keeping thing unpredictable throughout.
The album starts of slow, bordering on a type of ambient music with little oddities but then quickly escalates into a free-form jazz splurge in the next couple of songs. Basslines and woodwinds seemingly compete for supremacy with no clear winners throughout "Chunk Shanty" as the next song "Trash Rash Ash" carries on this theme with errant strings replacing the woodwinds in the previous track. But then I was caught of guard as the fifth track, "Lumberjack Camp" began. At first it has similar qualities to previous tracks, but then a distinct beat come into the frame as a scratchy violin plays a solo that is kind of hard to describe. It's almost as if it is riffing out a rock solo but it just sounds so broken and strangely sad. As the guitar finds its way in to the mix, the rock elements that were previously unheard creep in and left me wondering how to classify what I am hearing. I couldn't figure out how to do this, rather I just allowed myself to be captivated and confused.