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Grassy Sound - The Sounds of Grassy Sound (Destiny)

20 July 2022

Despite first impressions from the band’s name, Philadelphia duo Grassy Sound does not play bluegrass. Instead, guitarist Nick Millevoi (Desertion Trio, Many Arms) and keyboardist Ron Stabinsky (Mostly Other People Do the Killing, the Meat Puppets) put their own spin on the acid exotica of the sixties, with a bolt of surf music running through it all. Joined from time to time by Puppets drummer Derrick Bostrom, the duo switches from dreamy explorations like “New Harbor Light Boogie” and “Lu Fran” to flat-out rockers like “Fitzer” and “Astronaut.” Though capable of some truly wild playing, Millevoi keeps his fretwork mostly restrained here, sticking to the spirit of his compositions with tasteful riffs (even when revved up) and letting himself go in short bursts during solos. Stabinksy provides warm organ beds for his partner’s melodies, though he gets in several impressively fleet-fingered solos himself. The duo also takes full advantage of the keyboardist’s Puppets connection by bringing in both Kirkwood brothers to close the album with an otherworldly float through the cowboy standard “Tumbling Tumbleweeds.” A fine record from a project for which one hopes Millevoi and Stabinsky will continue to find time.