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Six Organs of Admittance 

School of the Flower

Six Organs of Admittance is singer/guitarist Ben Chasney. Originally from Santa Cruz, Chasney also plays axe for local acid-rockers Comets on Fire, whose jams I dig even though their recent live sets have become kind of stale. Anyway, (the very talented) Chasney's latest release, School of the Flower, feels rather flawed because it consists of two distinct aspects of his artistry that he fails to merge into a profoundly holistic musical vision. Several tracks, you see, are sweetly shimmering indie-folk featuring Chasney's hushed ghost-speak, as on the plaintive "Words for Two." Then other tracks are avant-garde interpretations of electric folk-blues and exploded polyrhythms. This glaring either/or dichotomy lacks resonance because truly moving works of psychedelic folk (Tim Buckley's Starsailor, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks) are emotionally brave, intellectually courageous fusions of soulful storytelling and experimental musicianship. But on this record, only "Home" -- wherein Chasney's disembodied lament dives into washes of feedback -- possesses both qualities simultaneously, and that's just not enough. -- Justin F. Farrar


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