Jacober - The Gray Man
There's an intoxicating sense of forlorn wistfulness and listless hopefulness buried deep in the throbbing vibraphone on 'The Gray Man.' The latest solo release by David Jacober, the percussive extraordinaire behind Baltimore's versatile noisenik's Dope Body, permeates its ghostly, beachside jams with more than a bit of Low Country lore, literally haunted by the ghost of one all-too-eager lover traversing the unstable marshes of South Carolina to rendezvous with his fiancee. Recorded in the dead of winter in his grandfather's beach house in Ocean City, MD, 'The Gray Man' finds Jacober exorcising this particularly benevolent spirit, an apparition who warns coastal inhabitants of ensuing storms and anonymous danger.
Opener "Weather" pulses in from the distance, riding a frigid surf littered with echoed percussion and sonic detritus that has eroded over time. The kaleidoscopic melody shifts slightly out of focus as a series of trippy interludes bob through a thick fog. The title track follows its antagonist down a windy, debris-covered sidewalk, warning doomed seasiders to expect the worst while ensuring them a safe harbor, for this man's curse is the opposite of an unkind one. A-side closers "Patapsco Girls" and "Warning & Protection" charter a wayward course through choppy waters, spurred on by the neck-tingling magic of the waterside and obsessed with the common fatality that goes with it. The B-side "Move Slow" launches with a Steve Reich-ian run of malletted vibraphones that dissolve into a shifting blur of dubby bass and ephemeral curiosities. "Seven Headless Laps" and closer "Senseless" retreat into the murky depths of the Atlantic, both bound and unencumbered by the purgatorial locale.
No tears. No love lost. This is the calm before, during, and after the storm.