Japancakes - Belmondo: Bliss Out, Vol. 19

(DRL123: 708527012321)
Release date: 03/21/2002
Genre: Western, Ambient

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1. And Begun, 2. Handguns & Firearms, 3. Theme for a Film, 4. Always Stuck with Leaving, 5. Duluth 75, 6. Another

Athens, GA's Japancakes are able to take the listener to a place no other artist can. Their sound is all at once rock, country and yes, ambient. It is their special combination of sound, mood and style that made Japancakes a candidate for Darla Records’ ambient Bliss Out series, which offers such uniquely qualified artists the opportunity to step off their career path and showcase their musical Om. Imagine the beauty and uplifting vibe of their acclaimed previous record, The Sleepy Strange, except with songs half as fast and twice as long, which always lead to that special, secret spot.

This time JAPANCAKES have followed their bliss on a trip to the even sleepier and stranger side. For goodness sakes tho’, yes, Japancakes still paint Western flavored, modern Americana anthems with plenty of trademark, ever-so-satisfying, pedal steel guitar. What’s different here is clarity of the moody moodscape created. A sticky hot summer afternoon, so hot you can’t get off the porch swing, yet that intensely lazy heat is so pleasurable when combined with plenty of ice cream. Belmondo features more of the cello of Heather McIntosh. “2nd Music for a Silent Film” features a sweet cello and pedal steel accompaniment that’s so good it may be both the most beautiful and saddest song they’ve ever written.

When night falls and you’re ready to drive home, Belmondo puts you behind the wheel of your ‘59 Chevy Apache pick-up. You’ve already forgotten all your cares as you take a long drive through a mythic southern gothic heartland filled with all the idealized country comforts as well as all the ghosts.

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