Darrin Kobetich's "Sidetracked"
Full disclosure: Darrin Kobetich is a friend of mine, and a fellow Lawn Guyland expat in North Texas. (He grew up in the town I was born in, and we moved to Texas the same year, although he's ten years younger than I am. Although he sounds like he just came off the block, he went to Weatherford High School. That's right: He's a Blue Kangaroo.)
After over a decade of solo performance, Darrin Kobetich has fully integrated all of the aspects of his musical persona -- metalhead, acoustic performer on an ever-widening array of instruments, devotee of folkloric forms, possessor of an experimental mindset -- into a single, seamless entity. Overdubbing all the instruments -- stringed, wind, and percussion -- in his home studio, he's produced what he describes as a "soundtrack for an imaginary motion picture." The music on Sidetracked wends its way through several sustained shifts of mood.
The album opens with "The Order Within Chaos," eight minutes of ambient atmospherics that steadily build in intensity, then gradually recede, giving way to the Fahey-esque freak-folk of "When the Rain Finally Came" and "Banjer in the Bayou." "Giant Behemoth" opens acoustically before shrieks of feedback announce the coming of a doom-metal riff reminiscent of Sleep. "Winging It" sounds like a Physical Graffiti outtake awaiting vocals, while "Counter Culture Tribal Dance Theme" is a potential hit in Near Eastern dance clubs (which I'm assuming exist). The concluding sequence, beginning with "The Gift That Came Here," displays a lovely lyricism that's new to Darrin. Not only is Sidetracked his most accomplished work to date; it's also his most accessible.