After the psychedelic stoner rock of Mankind Woman and the funky jazz odyssey Jacoozzi, Brant Bjork is putting out his third record in about a year, this time going back to the beginning with the 20th-anniversary deluxe edition of his solo debut, Jalamanta. A solo album in the truest sense of the word, this record sees Bjork play just about every single instrument, aside from a couple of guest appearances by Mario Lalli and Gary Arce. Remixed by original producer Tony Mason and remastered by John McBain, this latest edition really gives the songs a big boost!
Anybody who’s ever seen Brant perform in concert is probably familiar with “Automatic Fantastic,” and its classic line “The rich man’s got all the green, but it ain’t the kind ya smoke.” Following the brief instrumental intro “Lazy Bones,” this seven-minute stoner-rock classic comes grooving up slowly with its mellow vibes and laid-back, spoken-word lyrics. From there, it’s on to the jungle boogie of “Cobra Jab,” with its African-style drumming and ringing, upper-register riffs and the up-tempo Hawkwind worship of “Too Many Chiefs…Not Enough Indians.”
“Sun Brother” is about as chill as it gets, complete with a bongo backbeat, while a jazzier style of drumming drives “Let’s Get Chinese Eyes.” “Toot,” which features Lalli on vocals and guest guitar is a return to the mellow, desert rock found on Track 2 – and smattered throughout Bjork’s future solo career. (Ditto “Low Desert Punk,” another future setlist staple.) While the chill instrumentals are good for “relaxation,” it’s not hard to hear why he’d take a vocal-driven approach to future solo efforts.
(Heavy Psych Sounds)