The Jigsaw Seen – Old Man Reverb (2014)

Congratulations to the Jigsaw Seen for not only recently marking a quarter of a century of togetherness, but for sticking to their original game plan and creating high quality music in the process.

The Los Angeles, California band’s latest album, Old Man Reverb (vibro-phonic recordings), which is scheduled to be released September 16, 2014, slides in as a nice extension and expansion of their progressive psychedelic pop rock mentality. Forever challenging themselves and their audience, the Jigsaw Seen operates in a range and on a level parallel with the heritage bands they so ardently worship while at the same time slapping their own unique sparks into the fire.

Crushing power chords explode with ease around the swirling tones of a bobbing Mellotron organ and smooth and sunny vocals on the kaleidoscopic-stained “Let There Be Reverb,” and “Your Mind Is Like Mine” bubbles and blinks with twinkly patterns and designs. An ode to a pair of gorillas who called home the Baltimore Zoo, “Hercules And Sylvia” is swathed in string arrangements chiming with melancholic expressions, a plucky pop luster rules the turf on “Die Laughing,” which addresses the AIDS epidemic, “We Women” rivets and rocks to a racing pace, and the moody yet mighty “Idiot With Guitars” mixes acoustic pickings with electric moves to compelling effects.

Then there’s the deep and rich textures of the spooky and sensual “Abide” that would fit comfortably on a Noir soundtrack, and concluding the album is “Grief Rehearsal,” a haunting violin-laden look at preparing for the death of a close friend or family member.

Comprised of Dennis Davison, Jonathan Lea, Tom Currier, and Teddy Freese, the Jigsaw Seen never fail to bring new and exciting visions to the table, and Old Man Reverb attests to be yet another perfectly realized collection of songs in their canon. The ability to write catchy and interesting tunes, compounded by solid musicianship, involving regal harmonies and a natural and confident grasp of their instruments, provides the band the leverage required to stand out in a crowd.

Traces of the experimental phases of the Beatles, the Hollies, the Beach Boys, and the Pretty Things can’t be ignored on Old Man Reverb, but as previously emphasized, the Jigsaw Seen brazenly picks up where their role models left off. Ambitious, forward thinking, and void of barriers and boundaries, here’s a record that’s emotionally, artistically, and sonically satisfying.

Beverly Paterson

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