Tommy Guerrero, viagra Gadget and Monte Vallier are Jet Black Crayon. The story goes that Guerrero was asked to open for Isotope 217 way back when and instead of playing solo, he tapped his boys to play as Jet Black Crayon. And years later, the trio — with the occasional helping hand from a large group of players including Tortoise’s Herndon and Bitney — is still putting out solid, hard-to-pin-down instrumental jams that meld melodic atmospheres, hip-hop breakbeats and bass-borne low-end experimentation. This type of thing has all the inherent workings of quality cinematic groove, equally fitting over a home-made skate video or a poignant, professional 35mm take. There’s wisdom and optimism in this music, especially in today’s somberly titled tune “Lost in the Fog,” which sounds a lot more like emerging from a haze then being lost within one. Maybe we can’t avoid the trappings of getting older , but who’s to say we can’t define adulthood in our own terms. Perhaps a little heavy, but that’s what listening to Jet Black Crayon does for me. We all gotta move on from our Jackass days at some point and grow the fuck up. Maybe this is what arriving a that dreaded crossroads sounds like.

Jet Black Crayon’s newest release, In the Interim will be available 4/08/08 at fine on- and offline stores. It also includes a DVD with short films made for each of the album’s nine tracks.

RIYL: Mat Young, Tortoise, Tiki Obmar, P Love, Live Human, Cougar, Nobody

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