- It's legal: Josh Reichmann
Canadian song-man Josh Reichmann packs loads of bright kaleidoscopic images and sunny musical enthusiasm into his debut EP Life Is Legal -- which wouldn't be odd, except you'd expect a little more world-weariness from a musician who's already something of a vet on Canada's indie scene. Reichmann played in Toronto post-punk band Tangiers, which released two well-received albums on Sonic Unyon (2003's Hot New Spirits and 2004's Never Bring You Pleasure), and a final album on Frenchkiss (2005's The Family Myth). He's also recorded and performed under the name Jewish Legend.
Now under his own name, Reichmann is joined live by the Oracle Band, comprised of Joseph Shabason (woodwinds), Steve Singh (keys), Niko Kwiatkowski (percussion) and Jon Hynes (bass). Former ballet dancer Laura Bolten is also featured, credited with "dance, misc."
Life Is Legal is a brief, delirious collection of densely arranged yet lo-fi grooves, topped with Reichmann's warbling voice and eccentric imagery; on the standout "Ancient Bloody Paradise (I Miss You)" he sings, "my land is cold, even though it's contained by coasts / by bees, palm trees / submerged with ships of white men's gold and bones." Throughout the five songs, the Oracle Band offers eerie, Zombie-esque distorted rock organ and wailing, reverb-drenched sax, sometimes over vaguely Latin-jazz percussion a la Beck's Tropicalia, sometimes over early Pink Floyd rhythmic swagger (especially on the closing track, "Runes").
It's a soulful, potent blend, with a sound rooted in vintage psychedelia, yet gritty enough to stand alongside current similarly '60s-obsessed acts such as the Black Lips. Reichmann's preparing to release a full-length on Paper Bag Records in March; in the meantime, the label has released Life Is Legal on vinyl and CD. Catch Reichmann live at Garfield Artworks on Sat., Nov. 29 (a show organized by CP contributor Manny Theiner).
Josh Reichmann Oracle Band, with Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains, In the Wake of Giants and Dan Koshute. 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 29. Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Ave., Garfield. $10. All ages. 412-361-2262 or www.garfieldartworks.com