What the ? Boise jam band Jupiter Holiday has been traversing galaxies of improvisational hippie-dance music and psychedelic rock since 2005 without releasing anything beyond a modest EP. Why a full-length album after all these years? And gigs?
No matter. The biggest surprise the one, unlike the album title, that doesnt evoke a Dominos Pizza marketing campaign is that this studio adventure was worth the wait. Equal parts instrumental vision quest and well-rehearsed groove marathon, its the best jam-band album released in Idaho in recent memory. Actually, probably ever. (Can you think of ANY jam-band album ever released in Idaho? Those festival brownies have taken their toll on your memory, dude.)
Pulling from the quirky style of song crafting championed by Chicago prog-jam force Umphreys McGee, Jupiter Holiday rolls through 8-, 9-, even 11-minute tunes that are heavy on repetitive riffs and winding-road guitar detours.
Sounding noodley without also sounding sloppy takes practice. Guitarist Shaun Palmers concentration is obvious during bursts of hammer-ons and pull-offs. And while his solos aim to be stratospheric, theyre also laid-back the kind that scrape clouds without ever causing actual storms, for better or for worse.
Easygoing vocalist-guitarist Michael Bassetts singing exceeds the normally acceptable not bad for a jam band expectation. Better yet, he never sings when he shouldnt. Fans of instrumental rock will find plenty to like just by listening to the rhythm section of Kreed Kleinkopf (bass) and Jason Grazian (drums) double clutching into eternity.
Granted, Jupiter Holidays influences are overt: The smell of the Umph and Phish saturates triumphant-sounding instrumentals such as Gellenhalls with all the subtlety of spilled bong water. But these nine songs manage to meld into a pleasant, funky, 64-minute carpet ride. Its like closing your eyes at an outdoor summer gig where the neon hula hoops keep spinning till 4 a.m. If the knock on jam bands is that they never capture that simple bliss on album, Jupiter Holiday runs rings around many of its peers.