Greg Ashley has been melting minds since he was a teenager growing up in central Texas; first in his paint-peeling garagepunk band The Strate-Coats, then in lysergic psych band The Mirrors, and finally to great acclaim in his highly influential quartet The Gris Gris. If that weren’t enough, Ashley has peppered multiple solo albums in between all of these releases tracing along a path that veers to & fro from heady psychedelic freakouts to sensitive, folky tunesmithing.
“Another Generation of Slaves” is a bold step off that acid-soaked artery, the nine tunes herein are Ashley’s most directly poetic suite of songs both melodically & lyrically. “Another Generation...” FEELS different. Recorded in 2013 with a cadre of jazz musicians, the malleablity of his players belies dizzying results, allowing Ashley to focus on communicating the feeling of the tunes in addition to playing them. Lyrically, Ashley has never been one to mince words, but the songs are almost joyously direct.
Songs like “Brother Raymond” & “Prisoner #1131267” are character studies, while somber cuts like the folky opener “East Texas Plain” & the sultry “Patterns Of Days” are extremely insular tunes, unquestionably personal & beautifully unfolded. Ashley’s grown so comfortable in his ability to craft songs, that even the breezy “Awkward Affections”s brazenly honest lyrics don’t feels forced, but like another piece of the puzzle here. The stories fit together like Ashley’s own version of “Songs Of Love & Hate” or “Trouble Is A Lonesome Town”. A collection that doesn’t work unless the listener is fully immersed in it’s world, shackled to it’s narrative. The LP edition is pressed on black vinyl, includes a printed inner sleeve with lyrics & a download code.
RIYL: Kurt Vile, Lee Hazlewood, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Bill Fay, Mikal Cronin