Israel-born guitarist Eyal Maoz pulls many tricks out of his bag for his second release on Tzadik Records. With traditional Jewish music underpinnings here and there, the artist morphs a wild concoction of avant-garde expressionism with retro hard-rock and apocalyptic type opuses. And in spots, the quartet renders what might be considered new-wave psychedelic music, featuring bone-shattering bass and guitar lines amid pulsating straight-four rockers.
The guitarist puts the pedal to the metal at various points, while generating off-kilter metrics along the way. On "Rocks," keyboardist Brian Marsella’s silvery synth patterns spawn a hauntingly melodic theme atop the rhythm section’s steady backbeats and the leader’s fractured chord voicings. The musicians also render dark and complex progressive-rock motifs, hued by the frontline’s polytonal breakouts and textures.
They rock on with "Slight sun," via an air of antiquity thanks to Marsella’s ancient Farfisa organ sound, and proceed to deconstruct the primary theme, topped off by a garrulous finale. No doubt, Maoz fuses a hodgepodge of stylistic aspects into a set of wild, but largely structured compositions abetted by his technical wizardry and acute improvisational skills. They reinvent the past while offering a fresh outlook to the present. It’s a winning venture, since Maoz adheres to a composition-based mindset, chock full of memorable hooks that bridge the gap between old-time pop, New York City downtown grunge, and a prismatic balls-to-the-walls approach.