Paul Jacobs Stirs Up a Psychedelic Melting Pot with 'Pink Dogs on the Green Grass'
Published May 05, 2021Paul Jacobs, Montreal's garage-psych one-man-band (and drummer of arty post-punks Pottery), delivers just the right amount of dopamine on Pink Dogs on the Green Grass, kickstarting what will hopefully be an optimistic summer. In terms of production, it's one of the prolific singer-songwriter's clearest-sounding batches of recordings, adding acoustic drums and open-chord folk to his trippy rock sound.
Capping off at 13 songs, Pink Dogs on the Green Grass is a mix of everything — at points sounding like early Deerhunter meets the off-kilter bongos of Paul Simon's Graceland with the opening track "Christopher Robbins." The balladry of "Day to Day," meanwhile, is eerily reminiscent of a freak-folk Devendra Banhart track, with its washed synths, bopping guitar line, and Jacobs' halcyon vocals.
The juxtaposition between vintage and modern sonics is present everywhere on this album. The vocal layering in "Half Rich Loner" recalls the Pet Sounds era, but the buzzing garage freakout grounds it enough to feel new. The continuous hazy cadence of "Cherry" reverberates through the mind, evoking a state of stillness, almost a meditative trance. That trance continues with "Everything's Fine," with its fuzzy keyboards and psychedelic dance funk hook.
Even though it seems like certain sounds appear at random, Jacobs is meticulous in how they loop, drone out, or organically decay, to achieve his sonic mind-bending sound. Just listen to "Underneath the Roses," which sounds like if Beck kept up his weird anti-folk. Even "Dancing with the Devil," the album's most bare-bones track, enthralls with its noticeable Lou Reed influence.
Jacobs is a musician with an abundance of talent and a melting pot of influences who knows what he's going for on every track — or at least he's good at making it seem like he does. On Pink Dogs on the Green Grass, Jacobs has put himself up there with other psych-rock solo wonders like White Fence, Ty Segall and Morgan Delt. (Blow the Fuse)