...by Emma Jade Gunn
What an uber fab band! Sooo, where have they been all of my life? Are they a secret society? Who are The Concussions?
Dick Chiclet - guitar
Matt Mason - bass
Claude Nine - guitar
Billy Vits - drums
The Concussions are a group of guys with made-up names and revolving, evolving, involving masks as performance gear. I can't. No. Okay. I can. I want a mask, too!
Their album, Fall In Love With The Concussions, is the first of a pair of CDs this Michigan based instro combo are releasing this year. It definitely whet my appetite for the second.
To me, Fall In Love With The Concussions creates a beautiful fantasy. My imaginings go something like this...
Dreamsickle - Caressing guitars and gentle drums make me sway and dance in the warm summer air, the smell of the ocean and smooth rhapsody of the waves bringing my eyes to a close while I dream. This is so wonder-filled I can easily see it as the theme song to a movie about a beautiful surfer girl who heads into the waves one day and discovers her one true love who just happens to be an Olympian God. She swims deeper and deeper into the abyss until ...
Happy Tappy - ... a city built from emeralds and sapphires erupts from the ocean floor. She places her hands against the glistening gates. She pushes and pushes, almost out of breath. Just as she thinks she will surely drown trying to get to her beloved, they ... slowly ... break ... away ... and swing open. A strong lead guitar, with pinpoint distortion, is just the cutting tool our surfer needed to breach the seemingly inpenetrable city walls.
Witchiepoo’s Jewelry Box - Behind the gates stands a Lady. She's tall, lithe, strong and has eyes the color of coal. The girl hears a new song, part Celtic dream, part Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance and she wants - needs - to sway to the sound. The surfer girl blinks, her azure eyes steeling for a fight of wills. The necklace around the Lady's neck is pearl, abalone and bronze. The girl reaches for it, bewitched.
Phantom Limbs - As if in a dream, the surfer sees her hand disappear into the reflection of the lights from the city. The dark-eyed woman has flipped a mermaid tail and is gone. The girl heads for the tallest of the buildings. She is fast. She is strong. Yet her arms and legs burn and she can't see them for the brightness of the gem-infused water. There, just ahead, her Olympian beckons. The dark woman is there, behind him, smiling, holding the necklace toward the surfer. The God and Lady are brother and sister and the surfer girl is being accepted into the City of Gems. Her phantom limbs have taken her to where she needed to go. The music of the City is filled with the guitars, horns and drums of fate.
Mrs. Beasley’s Lament - That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Okay, I'm not Mrs. Beasley, but sometimes I just have to get a little bit of fantasy in, you know? And Fall In Love With The Concussions is the perfect CD to evoke those fantasies! Just in case you're wondering, Mrs. Beasley’s Lament came on just in time or I might never have stopped dreaming my movie dream. Mrs. Beasley’s Lament is vibrant and just exactly what you need. I kid you not! Hey, Concussions, that bass opening and guitar distortion upped my fantasy to a whole new level!
Champagne Problem - The problem with champagne is that when I mix it with great drumming and great music like the masked ones play, I will go a teeny tiny wee wittle bit overboard. Hey! It's their fault, you know. See, they had on masks so I had to make up my very own godlike dude to fall for. You understand that, right? Between the invitation to imbibe champagne and guys wearing masks and using cool names like Claude Nine, I'm back to ending sentences with prepositions. The Concussions have my brain all mixed up. And I love it! (P.S. I also loved dancing to Champagne Problem. Play at your next beach bash.)
How To Strip For Your Girlfriend’s Girlfriend - I am not going there. No. Emma is going to behave. I really, truly am. But I will say 'tis the season to be lulled into doing some really fun outrageous things and How To Strip For Your Girlfriend’s Girlfriend can be your anthem. And the exquisite piano playing ... can we say, "Liberace!" It literally melts in your mouth, sugar.
Everyone’s Fast Asleep - The Concussions are exceptionally good at telling a story with their music. Everyone’s Fast Asleep has the dreamiest mix of plugged and unplugged guitars you can imagine. And those beautiful bells at the end made me all misty-eyed. Everyone’s Fast Asleep is a song I will go back to again and again so I can just dream by myself while everyone else dozes under the sun. I can see myself in a hammock, swinging on the porch, watching the waves and seeing that beautiful twinkle of starlight at the very end. Life is good.
Fall In Love With The Concussions is an uber cool CD featuring some uber cool music. It also features a great CD cover with art from Mikey Welsh, who just happens to be a fantastic artist. He used to play bass for Weezer.
Okay, I have to do it. Can't help myself! No! I honestly can't! What do you fantastic fellows really look like? With talent like this, I'm betting Olympian Gods with a little touch of wry humor.
|The Concussions: Fall In Love With The Concussions
|02) Happy Tappy
|03) Witchiepoo's Jewelry Box
|04) Phantom Limbs
|05) Mrs. Beasley's Lament
|06) Champagne Problem
|07) How To Strip For Your Girlfriend's Girlfriend
|08) Everyone's Fast Asleep
Ryan Limbeck - trombone on track 4
Mark Kahny - piano on track 7
Produced by Dick Chiclet
Recorded and mixed by Dick Chiclet at Goon Lagoon, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Mastered by Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders, Detroit, Michigan
Front cover painting by Mikey Welsh
Photography, layout and typesetting by Randy Apewick
CD reviewed by Emma Jade Gunn
© Emma Jade Gunn 2012
All Rights Reserved