Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brian Olive - Brian Olive
Alive Naturalsound

As Oliver Henry in The Soledad Brothers, Olive variously squatted at and straddled the Southern rock stomp Stax-sealed with a Stonesy swagger n' sway end of the garage-blues spectrum of the century's turn, or thereabouts. Here in this current manifestation he trades in some of that for some just as loose - loose as Iggy on quaaludes - psych-swaddled country-folk-funk like late seventies Alex Chilton in New Orleans, Syd Barrett leading the Memphis Horns on a merry jaunt under seventies Austin starry skies, even T-Rex and Todd Rundgren taking a freeform Greyhound trip chauffered by Skip Spence from San Francisco to jam with the Greenwich Village folkies as they're serenaded by Sly Stone. And it isn't a simple, lame-ass lama excuse to slide into 'hey, I took some mushrooms, check out my ragas' toe-contemplating of many second division and beyond no-marks. This is nothing short of a seemingly diffident but quietly resounding success. Not least as a step aside to slighter, slower, less stompy surfaces doesn't mean an aimless meander into sun-dappled, dope-addled Beatles, Bob, Grateful dreary Dead and bloody Neil Young terrain like many less-immersed in the still waters of song-smiting who take the style and forget, if they can even acknowledge, the soul as this multi-instrumentalist maverick.
Stu Gibson

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