Perpetual Groove, All This Everything

Richard Gehr

By Richard Gehr

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Perpetual Groove won me over one starry night on the swimming-pool deck of a Carnival cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Georgia improv-rock pulsed as smoothly as the ship's mighty engines, producing an oceanic guitar-keybs-bass-drums matrix that ebbed and flowed in a grainy ambient trance with ferocious rock climaxes. Nice, I thought, if only in a third-tier, Disco Biscuits-derived way — when a band member unexpectedly intoned, "The continent of Atlantis was an island which lay before the great flood in the area we now call the Atlantic Ocean," and the group slammed into Donovan's antediluvian elegy with twisted post-tsunami logic.

Back on land, P-Groove's spacious All This Everything — organized around a trio of instrumentals inspired by Douglas Adams 'science fiction classic Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy — has colonized my rumpus room. Country-tinged vamps (think Bill Frisell on MDMA) divide time into ever-tinier increments before heightening to orgasmic finales. "He started singin 'a song about a song that he wrote just the other day," drawls the title track, the sort of typically koanic lyric that band occasionally tosses out. The rest of the album unwinds in a similarly Moebius-like manner (with "Gone Round the Twist" the gibbering prankster in the pack), circling around on itself like a long, slow Southern day. Perpetual Groove live up to their name (a promise to some, a warning to others) while decidedly putting the motion in the ocean.