S.G.J.S. - "Where The Fuck Is Nowhere?"
(Orange Entropy 1999, OE019)
From Aural Innovations #18 (January 2002)
S.G.J.S. is a jamming, most likely all improvisational quartet, consisting of Steve on guitars, Gabe on guitars, James on guitars, flutes, and sax, and Steve on percussion. The music is all instrumental and focuses on free jamming guitar driven heavy rock with some nods to psychedelia. The music is raw, a bit lo-fi, and more often than not a little too uncontrolled for my tastes. I dig music in which the musicians take off in different directions but it's doesn't work well if they aren't aware of what the others are doing. At least that's now much of this sounded to me.
But I do dig a nice raw meandering rock jam and there are some decent voyaging moments on the CD. There aren't any track titles and each one is preceded by a quick efx'd voice saying "Where the fuck is nowhere!". Tracks 2 and 4 are the strongest, with the former featuring heavy funky psych rock, bluesy early Ash Ra Tempel styled licks, and phased wah'd chords. Just a nice exploratory jam that features multiple contrasting guitar styles that work well together. Track 4 is a light rocker with stinging guitar licks that I enjoyed. Tracks 8 and 10 are really all part of one 30 minute jam that I had a hard time focusing on for more than a few minutes at a time. It starts out a bit too chaotic. The contrasting guitars are just too much in their own worlds, seemingly unaware of each others existence. But things slowly start to gel and the chaos continues though in a somewhat more coordinated way. The atmospheres get a little trippy in a crashing about against the walls kind of way until aggressive voices start to crop up and the percussive clatter gets a bit wild. I'll call it lo-fi garage rock kosmiche. Some good ideas but the band fails to develop them in any coherent manner. Overall, there are lots of possibilities for S.G.J.S. to create some good raw psych excursions, if only they'd let the music evolve in a more fluid manner.
For more information you can visit the Orange Entropy web site at: http://www.orangeentropy.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Orange Entropy; 327 Evanston Drive, East Windsor, NJ 08520.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz