“Who’s got the lighter?” asked Billy Madison before igniting a bag of dog shit on Old Man Clemens’ porch. I’m not quoting a young, actually good and non-redundant Adam Sandler character because I wish to engage in such hilarious pranks, I’m asking because I want to light a doobie while listening to this fucking medieval-ass, stoner odyssey of an EP by Jean-Mo, a Montreal-based composer and musician. Released on May 31st of shitty 2016, this atmospheric, experimental post-rock EP entitled Reborn sure takes you on a trip, good or bad depending on what and how much you’ve ingested. Maturely speaking, you can get a pretty good clean and sober ride off this mother. I did, because I’m responsible and too scared to drop acid.
My initial reaction to “Viking”, the opening track was, “What the hell music is this and who listens to it?” I could have guessed that this ambient rock EP was going to start off with weirdo, oscillating jug noises; I was pretty, how do you say? “Bored out of my ass” until the killer guitar solo that charges in halfway through the track presented itself. Once I passed that sleeper threshold, I was quite moved by Jean-Mo’s instrumental skills. Although the songs are like 300 years long (ie. between three and eleven minutes long) and strictly instrumental, I don’t think I would have wanted to hear any singing. I actually really enjoyed listening to the depths and creativity of the instrumentation on each track.
Like a combo of the soulful & psychedelic, cream-your-pants-ness of Pink Floyd and the metallic creepiness of Tool, this EP offers contrasting elements of thrilling intensity, while toning it down with spa-like treatments, such as during “Reste” (which means “taking it easy” in French, by the way. #cultured) and “Chère Emilie” where the soothing, spiritual sounds of the forest-type pleasantries are merely calms before the electric storms of wailing guitar solos.
Expect your walk-in-the-park kind of mood while listening to the subtleties of Rebornto be interrupted by a punch-in-the-pooper kind of instrumental eruption when the electricity kicks in. I’m not going to say that there’s never a dull moment throughout this EP because that would make me a big, fat phony. However, remember that during these times of relaxation that there’s a big ol’ explosion of distorted and highly trebled “HELL YEAH!” comin’ ‘round to kick you right in da ass, making you beg for Jean-Mo’ of dat shit! Hey, Jean-Mo, pretty badass music you got there, ya motherfucker.
Written by Keenan Kerr
*edited by Kate Erickson