Tabs Out | Skyjelly – Blank Panthers/Priest, Expert or Wizard

Skyjelly – Blank Panthers/Priest, Expert or Wizard
9.19.16 by J Moss


Skyjelly is a Boston based mutant/psych/punk trio with heavy avant-garde leanings and global influences. “Blank Panthers/Priest, Expert or Wizard”, out now on Doom Trip Records (also home to brand new sounds from the godfather of DIY weirdo recording, R. Stevie Moore), combines two of their previously digital only self-released albums onto one lengthy magnetic reel of twisted sonic expeditions. the “Blank Panthers” side was recorded with Lightning Bolt sound engineer Dan Auchenbach, and it has an overall vibe of lofi experimentation and up close intensity. there is a heavy Arabic/Eastern influence on the guitar playing in the raga-like jams, bringing to mind the punk rock eclecticism of Sun City Girls, but with less filthy innuendos and higher production values. I dig the sonic crust that overlays the drum sound, which creates a spacey tension with the far out vocals. the sound is heavy and swirling even at the quieter moments, making for an immersive, original psych experience.

“Priest, Expert, or Wizard” takes a mellower approach to it’s tones and compositions. I like the sequencing because Side B is a good way to come out of the aural pressure and tornado-like presence of Side A. The world music/Eastern vibes, experimental noise, and psychedelic tones are there but it’s all more reflective, a different lens through which to see Skyjelly’s vision. “Catherine’s Rabbi”, my favorite track, is a beautiful, weirdo near-ballad. “Watch Out”, midway through the side, briefly takes you back to the world of “Blank Panthers”, but is quickly followed by the dreamy “All Around Me”, an atmospheric psych folk song reminiscent of some of Anton Newcombe’s early work.

Throughout both sides Skyjelly walks a fine line between looping, repetitive jams, and bits of melody and song structure in a way that is uniquely their own. The two-for-one package here is nice, it’s really two stylistically distinct albums from a solid band on one tape. This thing sold out quick on it’s initial run of 100, but Doom Trip has pressed up another limited edition of 70. Don’t sleep on it. get it here.