Artist: The GoodLuck Boys
WTF album: ChinPunKanPun
Tags: wtf experimental psychedelic
WTF Quality: Ritualistic World Freak Punk Experimental Psychedelic Avant Folk MUSIC
The GoodLuck Boys have long held a mysterious fascination for me - in the same manner as the Marie Celeste, or Jack the Ripper - you think that finally you are going to catch up with them, hold them to account, reveal the secret; but all that remains of their ghostly presence is a half-consumed meal, or an intestinal yard-sale.
Conspiracy theorists of the future may try to put this album down to the work of a medically frustrated proto-surgeon from a well-to-do family, or convince you that a badly gaffer-taped weather balloon is responsible; but I stand firmly on the Grassy Knoll, cross-hairs aligned, shouting "Duck, Jackie!" at anyone who dares dismiss this gem of a record as alien intervention.
Those of you who are allergic to jazz may experience a slight flaking of the skin; those with a similar reaction to Ritualistic Folk may have to endure an exfoliated limb or two; but this album is much more than the mere sum of it's genres. The strings and threads of its constantly evolving and interweaving sound-ideas lead you meandering from mountain to jungle, from city to water-closet with such ease and freedom that you never tire of the travel. There are flights of fancy, tunnels of love, and the bowels of brave beasts. The title describes the monster far better than I can. It is ChinPunKanPun.
Neither do the track titles fail - "Tiny Caravan" is difficult to stop and bends to the will of windspeed and direction; "Rewind" is a puzzling 8-track Moebius Strip of a thing; "Rainbow Mist Contraption" is a many-hued Luddite's nightmare; "WetBack-Tongue" is moist and raspy but has a sense of taste; "PuzzleSolving BackGroundMusic" being the fifth track begins with a corresponding number of beats in a bar, then dissolves into a watery soup. "The Case of the Six-Sided Comb" irritates your head, gets tangled, but all is smoothed out in the end; and "Turning Back"...well I think you'll see - but perhaps the best effect is gained by just running the tracks pell-mell, one to the next, for the ultimate in comfort and sonic luxury. Screw what it means, and enjoy the ride. Mother.
The solid and supportive bass-playing of Jun Nishida; the Accordion (driven by Sammy Lilly) that never loses it's folk feel despite all the odds; lip-blistering sax work from Jerry Gordon; Tom Copson Jr.'s beautifully reined-back guitar; the list goes on...
The GoodLuck Boys are purported to have their "artistic differences" - I find no evidence of it in this album; these tracks would only be possible with hours of tortured teamwork, and no particular ego comes to the fore. This appears to me to be a "Band" in the truest sense of the word, and capitalized to boot. It's also rare to come across such sparkling production in the world of wtf music - thanks to the more than competent engineering of Naoto Araki and the mixing ears of Marcus Staniec and Sammy Lilly.
The final gasp of the historically blurred sleeve-notes, runs thus:-
"Perhaps the release of "ChinPunKanPun" will bring the band back together as a full unit again to play a few more live shows."
I fucking hope so. I really do.