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FAME Review: Jen Gloeckner - Mouth of Mars
Jen Gloeckner - Mouth of Mars

Mouth of Mars

Jen Gloeckner

Available from Jen Gloeckner's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

First of all, Ms. Gloeckner exhibited consummate taste in designating Justin Osborn as her graphics talent. The guy put together a Satty-esque set of illustrations that grab the onlooker's own much neglected underspirit and darkness, his pictorials as eerie as Gleockner's progressive and psychedelic mystery music. The Dalinianly Ernstian atmospheres of these displays complement the sonics supernaturally, especially the Rapture montage on the inside liner, a striking image with at least five levels of implication.

But, the moment you hear Gloeckner's unique sound, it becomes perfectly clear that norms do not apply in any earthly fashion, her arch vocals warning the listener to tread carefully in a landscape mined with psychic bombs and maleficent presences. Likewise, the singer recruited a gathering of daring musicians to buttress her own one-woman band base structure. Herself applied to keyboards, guitars, and percussion, Jen needed string raspers and others to augment the cauldron of lament, hellbrew, and stark doom permeating every cut. These components and their creators aggregate, bulk up, and scorch in various cuts, Burn Me for instance, while siderealizing and creepifying in others.

More than once, elder wafts of Amon Duul II, the Art Bears, and Art Zoyd sidle in atop cabaretic and folkish airs, electronic manipulations glaring from sidepockets and chasms, landscapes shifting constantly from purgatory to Hades. Lamentive refrains of humanity (Let Me Haunt You) saunter in to thicken up the gaspingly funereal ambiance, and thus it hurts not at all when Gloeckner's voice cracks into a Marianne Faithfull-ish tuneful croak of disdain and wrack.

Given all the above, it won't surprise anyone a bit to hear a brief Coast to Coast clip cut into Bailing Water, a miasmic apocalyptic track very much in tune with Art Bell's radio haunt. Mouth of Mars in whole is an intriguing blend of the Beatles (Number 9, It's All Too Much), Mike Keneally and the art damage crowd, early Gong, God Lives Underwater, a really demented Thin White Rope, Radiohead, and all the progressive new talents pushing the borders of genre and classifiability.

Track List:

  • Mouth of Mars (Jen Gloeckner; add'l. lyrics: John Gloeckner)
  • Pulse (John Gloeckner)
  • Sleep to Dream (Jen Gloeckner)
  • Burn Me (Jen Gloeckner)
  • Die (John Gloeckner)
  • Let Me Haunt You (Jen Gloeckner)
  • Free at Last (John Gloeckner)
  • Trip (Jen Gloeckner)
  • Peace Among the Chaos (Jen Gloeckner; add'l. lyrics: John Gloeckner)
  • Let's Get Honest (Jen Gloeckner; add'l. lyrics: Anna Kim)
  • Come in my Garden (Jen Gloeckner; add'l. lyrics: Stormy Mochal)
  • Mouth of Mars (reprise) (Jen Gloeckner)
  • A Lullaby (Jen Gloeckner)
  • Bailing Water (Jen Gloeckner)
  • 52nd Thrill (John Gloeckner)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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