Jude Universer’s Moon Bamboo is a triumph of notebook doodles put to music. In a scant 11 minutes, 18 seconds, seven tracks weave seven stories of top-shelf whimsy. The album’s longest track, “Whoa, Nelly!”, seems downright elephantine with its excessive three-minute groove. No slight is intended when I say that being scatterbrained will benefit the listener greatly.
Jude Universer is Jordan Hudkins, Demon Beat drummer and self-evident former art student. Those credits swirl together well as Hudkins takes his formidable musical chops and lends them to a personally stamped series of passing thoughts and fancies. The songs are less revelatory than pleasing; less posturing than celebratory. It takes a special effort to make music that flirts with childish imagination without stooping to self-conscious goofing off, but the tracks on Moon Bamboo thread that needle and don’t look back.
The melodious chirp of “Cocaine Cowboy” and “The Moon” excites me to ponder if and to what extent The Demon Beat might loosen up its stomp rock and roll with its members’ mercurial moods and influences. At this early in the game, having such a string of first-class releases under their belts leaves the field entirely open to unprecedented achievement. And if that sounds like a little unashamed excitement, well, it’s uncommonly good releases like Moon Bamboo that encourage such behavior. Huzzah!
Moon Bamboo is available for download, totally free, from Big Bullet Records: www.bigbulletrecords.com