The title of the latest album from ARJUN is Gravity, the third and last in a planned trilogy of albums that began with 2013’s Space, followed by Core. Like its predecessors, Gravity includes guest appearances: Jeff Coffin plays flute on “Run.” Cory Henry plays organ on “Ascent,” and Molly Cherryholmes provides strings on the title track.
ARJUN is a “power trio” in the true sense of the phrase. Eddie Arjun Peters is the man on the guitar; Andre Lyles plays bass; and Lamar Myers is the drummer. There’s nothing Mickey Mouse about ARJUN. They pump out a heady concoction of instrumental rock dosed with jazz and blues extracts. Their music has the power of a blowtorch, melting the gravitational fetters binding us to the earth and thus, setting our spirits free.
Stellar Guitar Virtuosity
The first track, “Prince,” merges blues and jazz elements into a trippy tune bursting with rich fat colors. Peters’ guitar shunts from punk-like riffs to creamy prog rock textures while the funky groove provides a solid launching pad. “Flutter” diffuses horizontal intensity akin to a futuristic soundscape somewhere in outer space.
“Run” rides a potholed jazz/blues melody that takes off on surf-like tangents before returning to its basic signature. Brass accents add depth and volume. Coffin’s flute solo imbues the tune with a bright textured energy as it whirls and twirls. “Ascent” opens with Peters’ pulsing guitar and the rippling emanations of the organ that simmers underneath. The organ, allied with the guitar, finances a compact flamboyance that flourishes when the keening hues of the organ take over on the solo.
“Crossroad” reminds me of The Ventures covering a Joe Satriani song, as Peters’ guitar flows from precise licks to cascading torrents of spilling colors wherein the instrumental harmonies coalesce into a gorgeously silky fusion. “Endless Again” conflates jazz and Caribbean tinctures into a splendidly effervescing melody with maracas and bongos attaching tangy agitation.
Surfing on Sonic Colors
“Blas” positively thrums with energy from the beginning, as Peters’ guitar exudes dark sonic tints. The climax of the tune features throbbing drums, growling bass, and Peters’ frenetic psychedelic guitar, followed by a proto-punk palpitation that evolves dynamically into a jazzy prog rock refrain. “Gravity” is hands down my favorite tune on the album because of its slow materialization and velvety drifting aura, like surfing through infinity.
The highlight of the album, of course, is Peters’ superlative expertise on the guitar, which is purely pyrotechnic but always delicate with sophisticated elegance because of his touch on his instrument. Meanwhile, the contributions of Myers and Lyles cannot be ignored. Without their talents and the foundation they provide, Peters would be incapable of strutting his stuff.
Gravity goes way beyond good and great, entering the rarified realm of fabulous. I recommend it to you without hesitation.