A Night of Serious Drinking – One After Another

A Night of Serious Drinking
One After Another

It had been a long night of serious drinking. Those of us stubborn enough to outlast the other party goers sat around on lawn chairs under the cloudy night sky and finished off the keg while passing around a bottle. We talked in subdued tones, for even the hosts of the party had gone to bed. None of us were really sure when night turned into morning. I slept the next day until well past noon and stumbled outside, shielding my eyes from the sun, to check the mail. The first disc I pulled out was A Night Of Serious Drinking.
How appropriate that this album would turn up at such a perfect time. For anyone who suffers from a serious hangover from a night of serious drinking but who can’t stand the silence, an album such as this is a godsend. Light and jazzy, A Night of Serious Drinking is soft without being dormant. This San Francisco trio recorded all of these songs in one take in a club, and their combination of jazz rhythm, perfect vocals and soft pop is really quite lovely. Think less depressing Nick Drake or Arab Strap, at times picking up the pace and throwing in elements of early Beatles or Bowie. But it’s really all about the comforting sounds of soft pop, heard with the shades pulled closed.
Things start off very slow and jazzy with “Terminal,” the light brush drums creating a jazzy rhythm, but the music overtop is not so jazzy, more like slow and slightly folk. Played right after listening to Arab Strap, I can’t help but mention a similarity between the soft guitars and bass. As this entire album actually flows together, “Terminal” rolls effortlessly into “Long,” which puts aside the jazzy drum rhythm and instead focuses on softer crooning. The vocals are the standout here, coming across beautiful and longing. “Half-lit” definitely changes pace, picking up with a more pop structure and flowing along Anthony Bonet’s stretching, flowing vocals for an atmospheric feel. When the acoustic guitar really kicks in the song takes on a much more upbeat structure. Again, it flows effortlessly into “The End of One Life,” which has some incredible bass lines throughout. “Round and Down” really runs the gambit, from probably the most jazz structure to the most intense Bowie-esque pop moments. The moments of organ have a retro feel without being too ridiculously throw-back. “Neverland” comes across darker and definitely more coffee-house jazz style, while “Shades of Another Color” is another more intense, slightly crooned pop song. And “Little Black Buzzer,” with its chorus of “dit-dit-dit-da-da-da” is strange but oddly appealing. The band finishes with remixes of “Long” and “Little Black Buzzer.”
A Night Of Serious Drinking manage to sound refreshingly different in their use of jazzy rhythm and pop structure, and Bonet’s beautiful vocals help too. This isn’t bad to listen to on a typical day, as the music flows wonderfully throughout, light and airy but not too slow or torpid. But it’s best enjoyed after a night of serious drinking, when you can truly appreciate light, comforting, and mostly acoustic pop music.