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  • Jonathan Widran


For the Couch Jackets, there’s really nothing wrong with being strange, off the wall, out there, off the beaten path (insert “outside the mainstream” cliché here) and super psychedelic/trippy – because their musicianship is strong and the journey is a multi-faceted invitation into a sonic world like no other.

The four piece Little Rock, AR band – led by vocalist/bassist Ben Eslick and vocalist/guitarist Brennan Leeds - makes sure we know their shape shifting music on their quirkily titled Go To Bed is an extension of their playful, incisive sense of humor. Some of that comes from statements like “Couch Jackets sounds like an alligator’s eating us” (on their Bandcamp page) or the description of their multi-angled hybrid vibe as “psych punkfunk poprocks with a shot of goat cheese” (on their Facebook page).

Even more delightful weirdness emerges on their inventive videos, like the one for their edgy jam rocker “Don’t Think Just Breathe,” which spoofs obsessive TV watches of all stripes and multiple channels; and the funked out psychedelic tempo twirling prog rocker “Pillos N Rillos,” in which the hit man bumps off his targets with cream pies. Another focal track released as a single is “Oh Opossum, My Opposum,” which starts out all mystical and dreamy then starts chugging, then stops before exploding into searing rock anthem territory.

Exotica is also on their agenda via the jangling, jungly, South African tinged “Tropical Jungle Book Hour” and the tribal percussion at certain points of the otherwise languid and liquefied trip “Elephant Tusk (Helluva Musk).” Hands down, the most outside the box (ah, found the other cliché!) piece is the 7 minute dreamscape “Kathy Was All Woman,” which starts out like a sultry mid-tempo rock ballad and jumps midway through into a gently symphonic piano concerto, beautifully played by keyboardist Harry Glaeser. Couch Jackets wouldn’t be who they are unless that solo was followed by the intense high- hatting of drummer Hunter Law and an epic prog-rock ending.

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