The Jigsaw Seen – For The Discriminating Completist (2013)

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Jigsaw Seen has been making music fueled by fascinating and forward thinking strategies. Available as a digital download, The Jigsaw Seen For The Discriminating Completist (vibro-phonic recordings) involves material spanning the years 1992 to 2005.

Devoted fans of the Los Angeles, California based band, such as yours truly, will certainly recognize the song titles offered here. But rather than presenting the tried and true, these tracks are rarities. Alternate takes, cuts from EPs and single versions are the coveted stuff this most welcome collection focuses on.

Bristling with raga rock reflexes, “My Name Is Tom” produces a menacingly mesmerizing mood, where the twinkling trance-induced tremors of “We Women” also clocks in as a daring psychedelic-salted statement. Torched by a spot of supple acoustic picking, “The Best Is Yet To Come” gradually swells into a muscular mass of hard rocking riffraff, and an adapation of Henry Mancini’s “The Baby Elephant Walk,” marked by loud surf-styled drumming and heavyduty guitar action, explodes with power and urgency.

Numbers like “Whore Kiss,” “Celebrity Interview” and “Another Predictable Song” exhibit the Jigsaw Seen’s flawless flair for pairing radio-ready pop perspectives with progressive patterns, while the Bee Gees are rendered with respect on a shimmering cover of “Melody Fair,” and then there’s a rendition of Arthur Lee’s “Lucy Baines” that sparkles and sways to an infectious mix of folk-flavored figures and minor-key garage rock curves.

Boiling over with crafty hooks, imaginative arrangements and liquid clear vocals and harmonies, The Jigsaw Seen For The Discriminating Completist will not only please longtime followers of the band, but it’s a fine introduction for virgins as well. Once again, the Jigsaw Seen has put together a set of tunes you won’t soon forget, and there’s more good news, as the band is currently working on a new studio album to be released next spring.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" hit No. 4 on the national charts, which is ironically, one of her favorite songs - especially the version by John Lennon. She has contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Her own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.