Lavender Katydid 2017
When day and night ain’t no enough, insomnia must bring delirious brilliance and four more hours will do nicely.
Humor always was this artist’s saving grace, hearty laughter keeping him warm in Windy City, yet there’s a change in the air now – not for nothing the Cheshire Cat that graced FF’s first two offerings vanished for good. Good, yes, because “Open 28 Hours” has maturity written all over its ten tracks, however entertaining they may appear. On Scott Fischer’s seventh album his latest ensemble’s erstwhile eclecticism seems to be on the wane, the band opting instead for a more molten experience than on "Fornever And Never" and the Chicagoan’s earlier efforts.
From the brass-splashed funky shamanism of “The In-Betweener” that arranges the listener’s mindscape in quite a chaotic fashion – where a highest order of things is lurking for Fischer to deliver infectious incantations – to the folk flow of “Zen” which establishes final serenity to the preceding kaleidoscope, the record doesn’t demonstrate any weak spot, and when a vulnerability is exposed in a song, it’s so deliberate one can’t help but admire Scott’s cheek. There’s sleek excitement to the silvery jangle leading “You & Everybody” to a summery repose, an acidic six-string solo burning through the surface to make way for a fusion-stricken Fender Rhodes passage, yet the ethereal soulfulness infusing “Spiders” would be hard to register over six minutes if not for an engaging, inspired interplay of the entire group.
Even sharper riffs propel “3 6 9” skyward, for mad metal to spice up the piece’s choir, but the piano-driven “Sensi-Mental” occupies a pure pop space – catchy and memorable – before boogie licks strike into the glam, and the gloom of “Smoke Signals” is tinctured with desperate raga. The metronomic ticking behind “No More Looking Back” opens a different perspective, though, harmony guitars ebbing away to reveal bluesy edge and flow back to sonic opulence and effusive vocals ruling the day, until the co(s)mic prog of “Farther To The Sun” ushers in a wondrous extravaganza: “Mother Of A Ship” – the epic that’s alone worth the price of admission. Its tumultuous tribal carnival masterfully channeling George Clinton-patented multi-voiced drama couldn’t be more delirious – and four additional hours may not be enough to get sucked in such a vortex.
Spin it on: here’s a pinnacle of FF’s blissful madness.