Chris Forsyth’s album The Rarity of Experience will be released tomorrow, March 4th, on No Quarter. The lead-up singles have lead to ecstatic reviews, with NPR calling him “one of rock’s most lyrical guitar improvisors.” Even Pitchfork said it’s “as classic as it gets.” The double-LP is chalk-full of instrumental guitar rock that touches on sounds pioneered by the Grateful Dead and Neil Young, along with a dose of modernism not unlike some of Mogwai’s material.
The songs that have been released thus far are tied together by a lack of vocals and a focus on guitar. I don’t know if you can call it jazz-rock, but it’s definitely rock ‘n’ roll played like jazz. It transcends between nutty dissonance and glorious harmony, exaggerating the ebb and flow of tension and release the way that most great live bands do it. We can’t wait to see how this material translates live, like the 10+ minute romper “High Castle Rock,” which you can listen to below.
Despite the sound that this is one big jam, Forsyth recently told Noisey that the double-album came about in the exact opposite way, saying, “Well, I was aiming for one good LP, but then I came out with two good LPs, so we put them together. The record was recorded in about 130 hours over 13 sessions in Philly, NYC, and Kansas City. It was heavily rehearsed and I pretty much planned it all ahead of time. It took a long time to really nail the takes.” It’s loose, but not without careful tact, a recipe for greatness if I’ve ever known one.
To celebrate the release of The Rarity of Experience, Forsyth is assembling the Solar Motel Band for a couple shows: one in Philly and one in NYC. The New York show is presented by NYCTaper, and takes place at Trans-Pecos (a fantastic DIY venue in Bushwick/Queens) on March 19th. Tickets are available for just $12 on Ticketfly.