(Sandy) Alex G

Rocket

Domino

May 22, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Philadelphia-bred Alex Giannascoli (aka (Sandy) Alex G) has been slyly releasing albums from his bedroom on Bandcamp since the ripe old age of 17. Six albums and seven years later, he's a sophomore in the Domino Records catalog, and we might expect things to change. But his bedroom's music has just gained a wider window, and the window is lifted and the measures are making their way to the ears of the neighborhood. We are all making our way to our own windows to see from where Rocket flows.

Opener "Poison Root" is a lucid wonder, furious violin and gazey banjo smatter across Giannascoli's composed yowl and stuttering piano keys touching base now and again. The composition is quizzical and imaginativeGiannascoli is working out a problem out loud and interpreting it in a way we didn't see coming. The gently menacing trickle of a dog's bark peppers the background. We are at home instantly.

"Proud" is on the corner of Wilco and a careless afternoon, Giannascoli's du-du-du's and oo-oo-oo's following us around like the never dying thread of sunlight in summer. "Powerful Man" is tender and straightforward, and "Alina" is a debuting wonder, waving the skirt of a showstopper, doves releasing into our ears.

"Judge" is a Pinback-esque concentratedarkly mathematical, while "Horse" is an Animal Collective-y bounce house tinkling discord over easy-baked jazz, loose and without recipe because he can and he's got the machine for it. We are flipping out. It makes us want to cook in a hot pan. "Sportstar" employs autotune over a melody of piano, the contrast of authentic and synthetic discovering a fascinating, yet quite natural, discourse. Rocket is so varied in genre, that each song feels experimental. Yet each is precise. If Giannascoli's music could be personified it would be up for anything, and a joy to be around. The bluesy, organ-tinted sleeper "County" meets the simple beauty in the fragmented folk duet "Bobby." The harpsichord-rimmed and distorted sparkle of "Witch" meets the frantic, haunted punk-metal of "Brick." Maybe (Sandy) Alex G hasn't put the pin on what he wants to be yet musically. And that might be why the thing is so good. It's unpolished and emotionally brave, in touch and free as the wind. It's really something. Quite a bedroom window, this one. (www.sandyalexg.com)

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