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Album Review

The term "melting pot" has been used to describe the United States of America's citizens since the country's inception, so it comes as no surprise that those citizens should produce art that's equally "stew-like." David Adamson (aka Grampall Jookabox), not content with the usual lo-fi, art-folk templates of 21st century home recording, has unleashed a truly genre-defying beast with Ropechain, the Indiana native's first full-length for the Asthmatic Kitty label. Adamson's heady blend of Odelay-era Beck, Roky Erickson paranoia, cosmic hip-hop, and general Animal Collective weirdness sounds like a train wreck in print, but his knack for odd melodies, stealthy programming, timely pitch-shifting, and macabre (and occasionally hysterical) subject matter helps to keep things consistently interesting throughout Ropechain's easily digestible 45-minute runtime. Highlights like "Black Girls,""Ghost," "We Know We Might Be F****d," and "I Will Save Young Michael" — the young Michael in question is indeed a Jackson — conjure up the image of a reclusive parapsychologist pawing at the walls for a light switch in the basement and coming up empty every time. It's both harrowing and funny, and it's a notion that a lot of long-winded, self-serving, home recording indie artists would do well to emulate.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Grampall Jookabox (think "Grandpa Jukebox" as slurred by a three-year-old) was formed as an alter ego for Midwest producer/songwriter David Adamson. The Indianapolis native developed a love for hip-hop at a young age, laying down rhymes over boombox beats on a four-track recorder given to him by his uncle. Those jams eventually morphed into an eclectic blend of blues-kissed psychedelic rock reminiscent of bands like Animal Collective, TV on the Radio, and Beck, culminating in a heady, trippy debut...
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Ropechain, Grampall Jookabox
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