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Damon Wood's Harmonious Junk

Sirens and Pipers
Self-released

Though Damon Wood's Harmonious Junk never indulges too long in overblown solos or meandering instrumentals on Sirens and Pipers, it's not a stretch to see why the trio has garnered so many accolades in the jam world. There's no shortage of soaring, epic guitar work here, from Wood's high-register, Frank Zappa-like riffs on the album's opener, "Infatuation," to the acoustic lines on "Just You and Some Friends and Me," which recall the best unplugged guitar work of Dean Ween. The complex polyrhythms and metaphysical imagery on "The Phoenix," meanwhile, will feel instantly familiar to any Phish fan. It's impressive how Wood and company fit the nods to their ambitious influences into such a compact framework: No song is longer than four and a half minutes, resulting in a record that hints at lengthy jams but instead manages a rare display of self-control and brevity.

 
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