08 December 2022

CALEB LANDRY JONES – Gadzooks Vol. 2 (2022, LP/CD Sacred Bones Records)




Label: Sacred Bones Records

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Yellow and Black smoke Color Vinyl, 250 copies

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Red Vinyl

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Black Vinyl

Format: CD, Album, Limited Edition

Release Date: 04 Nov 2022

X-Men Banshee… I mean Caleb Landry Jones is back with the second volume of his “Gadzooks” adventure! Last year’s “Gadzooks Vol. 1” (read my review here) managed to climb to the 11th position of my personal list with the best albums of 2021 (full list here), and this is pretty amazing considering the background and history behind this actor/musician called Caleb Landry Jones… Anyway, let’s focus on his new musical creation, a sequel to his previous release, simply entitled Vol.2… Here’s some interesting info taken from Caleb’s Bandcamp page:

“Don’t let the prestigious acting career fool you, Caleb Landry Jones is a bonafide musical maverick. And on his forthcoming release Gadzooks Vol. 2 he places him-self in a lineage of outsider artists, many with only a thin thread tethering them to this reality, who are capable of reaching into the cosmic realms of imagination and bringing back a musical masterpiece. And while most artists don’t save some of the best music of their career for an album with ‘Vol. 2’ in the title, Jones is an artist for whom chronology is a slippery substance.
The album was recorded with Nic Jodoin in the famed Valentine Recording Studios simultaneous with the mixing of his debut album The Mother Stone. The team invited a slew of heavy-hitting musicians to the studio to contribute to the magic. The resulting album sounds a bit like pink elephants in cowboy hats making asmr… at least for the first 20 seconds before it seamlessly changes entirely.
One of Jones’s greatest musical gifts is his ability to cover a vast energetic and sonic landscape, with a wide array of instrumentation and vocal stylings over a wholly unique song structure, in a way that feels cohesive and euphoric. And while all his records have an ecstatic quality, Gadzooks Vol 2. is perhaps his most soothing and sublime collection to date. Each song has at least a dozen ear worming hooks, all so satisfying you feel a deep longing as they fade until you realize they are being woven into yet another groove-laden, toe-tapping peak. A continual mic drop on an orgasmic wonder wheel.
Caleb: “I’m aware of only half the picture. It comes down upon me like a heavy rain. The psycho Deli is out of mustard and all the Porn Stars won’t leave their homes. I’m out only to get myself, but don’t get in the way. The bugs which throw themselves at windows rarely get their say.”…

“Gadzooks Vol. 2” contains 10 original musical compositions – you may call them songs, but they are something more than songs – and it kicks off with the song that is supposed to be ending the album! You see there are 2 tracks “Croc Killers 2” and “Croc Killers 1” and the normal thing here is to start the album with “1”, but No! Welcome to the abnormal world of Mr. Caleb! “Croc Killers 2” is the opener and the amazing creep-a-delic psychedelically atmospheric musical environment of Caleb’s previous album is unfolding widely open, a monstrous amalgam of sounds under the supervision of a piano with the necessary absolute and thoroughgoing presence of the Beatles’ ghost, ’68-’69 era… “Little Lion Blues” is a slow and bluesy tune with dark and creepy atmos, psych enough, torturously becoming a beautiful piece of musical art, kind of experimental though… “Touchdown Yolk” is a groovier and up-tempo rockier track while “The Shanty Shine” is another rather complicated tune, full of Psych, flirting with Broadway music with a lot happening at the back, switching tempos, switching moods, Lenon’s presence is all over and I believe that Pop music never sounded more sophisticated and cinematically brilliant these days, though the ending of the song is unexpecting and quite mind-blowing creepy! Another “different” tune follows, “Georgie Borge (The Termite)” shamelessly flirts with cinematic music, the Broadway 60s, Popsike, and even Disco! A so unorthodox Groovylicious tune with (once more) a rather unexpecting ending, waves, and a cool melody are wonderfully blending together to create the ideal ‘Love Theme’ for a Charlie’s Angels episode… The weird short (0:50) psych-rock interlude “Jeepers” only arises my curiosity about the next… “Anyone But You” is a sad cold adventurous heartbreaking sentimental Psych track while more complexity is coming along with “Slink On Fido”, Caleb uses his voice as an extra instrument, it’s like acting but in music! I can’t explain it better… A feast of colorful sounds floods my ears… Is it Prog? Is it Psych? Is it Pop? It is so confusingly awesome! What a fantastic track! The weird “The Puppet Rush” comes next, with strange instrumentation, and eerie vocals, emerging a very cinematic feel, a psychedelically orchestrated amazing tune! Eventually, the album comes to an end with my personal highlight here, “Croc Killers 1” starts as a sing-a-long balladesque kind of song, but slowly manages to blend David Copperfield with late Beatles Psychedelia under a rather theatrical interpretation, a song that cannot avoid becoming extremely Psychedelic towards its end… So, “Gadzooks Vol. 2” is a Tour-De-Force in Modern Psych music! An album that sets Pop music into another dimension! A Psychedelically Maverick LP! Love it to the last second! TimeLord Michalis  


1 Croc Killers 2 3:13
2 Little Lion 2:35
3 Touchdown Yolk 2:55
4 The Shanty Shine 7:57
5 Georgie Borge (The Termite) 6:14
6 Jeepers 0:50
7 Anyone But You 2:40
8 Slink On Fido 5:28
9 The Puppet Rush 4:36
10 Croc Killers 1 9:19


Listen / Buy through CALEB LANDRY JONES Bandcamp

Get it via SHINY BEAST Mailorder





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