Jealousy Mountain Duo - No. 3

I've happily covered their fantastic albums before, here and here, and I'm glad to report that Jealousy Mountain Duo is back with a new album and a new US tour. While still feeling like a familiar set of pieces for those who dig the first two records, the band leans into new directions on No_03: this is simultaneously a more playful outing, and an investigation into the possibilities of strategic dissonance within what is generally a very tuneful duo.

To my ears, guitarist Berger has especially stepped up his game on this album. Opening tune "DACKEL DIE BELLEN HEISSEN" immediately embraces a new set of approaches--like most of the JMD catalog, he establishes some looped riffs early in the piece and plays over them in a variety of contexts, but the looped section here employs more dissonance and chromatic movement than one often heard on the first two records. Atop these vaguely ominous, shifting chords, Berger digs into extended technique, grabbing a lot of harsh, metallic-sounding muted notes, punctuated with scrapes, aggressive unisons and octaves, and weird interval leaps. The piece occasionally pauses, lurching forward into new directions after each breath.

The second tune, "FRIENDS OF SONNY FOSCHINO," finds JMD working in a sort of opposite direction that's even more playful than previous albums. Berger's softly-articulated octave slides at the opening of the piece give way to a pointillistic riff propelled by Schneider's frantic drumming. The chorus passages sound absolutely massive as Schneider invents new ways to hit fifty drums at once, and then the band drops back down in dynamics to the subtle introduction parts again and again. A great use of dynamic range, rhythmic pauses, and all-out glorious abandon in the choruses. It's hard to believe there are only two musicians producing this wild din at times.

Later in the album, it sounds like Berger is working with some heavy guitar processing, wild high-frequency oscillations rising from the thunderous low riffage he establishes earlier in "THE RINCON PIO SOUND." That's followed by another especially playful piece, "NORDIC WALKING," which was featured on a great split 7'' with Don Vito last year. I really dig the fun behind-the-scenes false start to that tune, too.

My favorite moments on No_03, though, come in "GOTT IST NICHT NETT," which sets up another slinky chromatic riff that's decorated with some subtle hands-across-the-strings sounds in its establishing loop. Berger adds some heavy palm-muted punctuations to the primary figure as Schneider finds ways to work with and against the main rhythmic pulse, pumping the tempo slightly up and down with tasty work all around the kit. A melodica seems to make an appearance at the perfect moments in this tune as well, adding a nice legato contrast to the crisp, short drum articulations.

Another excellent album from one of the most interesting avant-rock duos working today. And for folks located in the states, they're visiting our humble shores on tour right now with fellow German band Don Vito, a hard-to-pigeonhole avant-punk trio (for Lincoln readers, join me at the Zoo Bar on Wednesday, Oct. 14th where JMD and Don Vito will be joined by Ron Wax and Gnawstic at 9 PM). You can find other tour dates below the BandCamp player, and having seen JMD live myself a couple of years ago, these are shows you really want to catch.

Oct 05
Sugar City
Buffalo, NY

Oct 06
The Smiling Skull
Athens, OH

Oct 07
The Bunker
Grand Rapids, MI

Oct 08
Now That's Class
Cleveland, OH

Oct 09
Cactus Club
Milwaukee, WI

Oct 10
Grandpa Bay
Chicago, IL
Oct 11
Schlafly Tap Room
St Louis, MO

Oct 12
Columbia, MO

Oct 13
Vaudeville Mews
Des Moines, IA

Oct 14
The Zoo Bar
Lincoln, NE

Oct 15
Mutiny Information Cafe
Denver, CO

Oct 17
The Yeti
Tulsa, OK

Oct 18
1919 Hemphill
Fort Worth, TX

Oct 20
Circle Bar
New Orleans, LA

Oct 21
Stone Fox
Nashville, TN

Oct 22
Conundrum Music Hall
West Columbia, SC

Oct 23
Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery
Atlanta, GA

Oct 25
Athens, GA

Oct 26
The Fuzz Factory
St Petersburg, FL

Oct 27
Burro Bar
Jacksonville, FL

Oct 28
Hang Fire
Savannah, GA

Oct 30
Kung Fu Necktie Upstairs
Philadelphia, PA

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