Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Jeff Huffines -Demos

June 1, 2006

Band Name: Jeff Huffines
Album Name: Demos
Best Element: Strong use of mellow moods.
Genre: Art-rock/other
Website: n/a
Label Name: n/a

Band E-mail: n/a

This CD is one track- a l9-minute-long string of minute-long demos that end mid-song. It is a true demo CD- a laundry list of the various things that Jeff Huffines can do with a guitar, a home studio, and a lot of ideas. There’s some funk here, there’s a digression into medieval music, and there’s even a show tune, but the best material here is the mellower, moodier fare that comprises about half of the disc.

While the show tune is an odd choice, it’s not as odd as some of the other choices here. The tune immediately following is played primarily on accordion, until the accordion player gets attacked by what sounds like the end of the world in the form of bassoon, low-pitched rumble, and some cha-cha percussion. Lovely.

But it’s not all bizarre showmanship in this display. There’s a vibes-heavy track backed up by a glitching beat that actually sounds pretty sweet in a lo-fi sort of way. Another reverb-heavy piece sounds like the soundtrack to the inside of a cave- it would be perfect for movies. Another quirky gem is a frantic vibes pieces that morphs into a chilled-out psych piece with wind noises and a cowbell in the background. I was sad to hear this one end.

The final track is one of the best- a mellow piece on strings, it creates a really nice ambiance and gives a sense of finality to the demo. The high parts, while they sacrifice a little bit of beauty for technicality, are extremely ear-pleasing.

Jeff Huffines is quite an interesting artist. While he needs to stay away from medieval music, war marches, and bass-heavy stuff, he does have ample success in creating unique, vaguely psychedelic moods with his mellower fare. I would like to hear a longer form of his mellower pieces- if well composed, they could be great for fans of Portishead or Broken Social Scene.

-Stephen Carradini

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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