sat 13/07/2024

Album: Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump for Joy | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump for Joy

Album: Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump for Joy

North Carolina’s M.C. Taylor sticks to his Americana-inclined musical guns

Hiss Golden Messenger's 'Jump For Joy': crisply produced, immediate and lyrically sharp

Any surprises which Jump for Joy brings aren’t about the nature of the music or the unfailingly open lyrics recounting Hiss Golden Messenger main-man M.C. Taylor’s outlook on his life, but an intermittent undertone suggesting he’s been considering the rhythmic foundations of The War On Drugs. In the sixth song, “Jesus is Bored” there’s a hint of WOD’s fondness for a chugging, insistent tempo. It’s more to the fore on eighth track “Feeling Eternal.”

In essence though, Jump for Joy adroitly showcases the mélange the North Carolina-based Taylor has perfected. In the studio here with his touring band, it’s a potpourri nodding to Little Feat, the New Orleans groove of Alain Toussaint, snatches of Crazy Horse drama and all points of sepia-tinted Americana between. Back in 1973, British pub rockers Brinsley Schwarz caught this flavour. As did – albeit in a rougher form – The Georgia Satellites in the Eighties. Mostly, Jump for Joy sits outside notions of period specifics.

Taylor has been sticking to these musical guns for a while. The crisply produced, immediate and lyrically sharp Jump for Joy sits within a self-defined continuum delineated some time ago. It’s not been exactly one per year, but this is the 15th Hiss Golden Messenger studio album in 15 years. Scattered amongst this is a clutch of download-only live sets; five of which appeared in 2022.

The consistency inherent to much of Taylor’s considerable catalogue means Jump for Joy is as much an entry point into his oeuvre as it is a statement of intent: this is what he does and it is not going to change. Take the glistening, rolling 10th track “The Wondering” as the entry point. Then go back to the beginning and let it all wash away any sense of time.


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