Sonic Reducer: Eric Lisausky And Theo Rego

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In case you want to know, Eric Lisausky is the brains behind YOU, an Albuquerque-based prog-rock band that absolutely established a new standard of spaced-out, stony sounds emanating from the high desert. Lisausky trucked out to Califas to continue his heady affair with rocanrol music and this is one of the results. Overall, the tone here is skewed toward snarky but still happy. On “Absorbed,” a dreamy idyll comes apart before reconstructing itself as a closing reference that segues into further musical deconstructions that are surprisingly snappy, even for someone whose brain is baking in the California sun. These are carefree tracks, and “Roach In My Pocket” tells a Blattodean tale without resorting to a sonic description of Kafkaesque miseries—totally rocking out while demonstrating mastery of a still-slippery craft. The whole album is like that, tempered with an implied self-derision that rescues itself over and over with cold-ass jams like “Perpetual Downer.” The cover art by Alibi alum Jesse Phillips reflects the elusive surrealism that inhabits each of the tracks. Those might initially be mistaken for whimsy, but when Lisausky shows his teeth (which is quite frequently on this record) he is all business, me intiendes?

Theo Rego Guitar Works from Cochiti (Self-released)

Theo Rego’s thoughtful collection of compositions for guitar, each named and classified by key, is a truly delightful listening experience, and I mean that without any of the usual grit and gravy I demonstrate towards art music. Playing the guitar in the manner of classicists, but with an ear for deep melodic and technical exploration, Rego begins his string-based discourse in style, weaving a plethora of transcendent and translucent sounds together in a journey that is quite capable of carrying listeners away on its fine feathery wings. The related tonalities of the pieces become evident as the artist unwinds through each as a separate statement. “Guitar Work in A” seems like a natural follow-up to its precursor, “Guitar Work #1 in D” and when Rego moves on to A Minor in the third track—a piece with strong Andalusian inflections—listeners begin to hear the direction and space into which the composer’s mind is wandering. Rego’s sustained competence and technical prowess on this record drives it toward completion, but the inherent beauty and order which his music suggests is enough to transport listeners far away from the normative, indeed.

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