Arrington De Dionyso & The Old Time Relijun
Varieties of Religious Experience (KLP149)
Unlike most releases that attempt to summarize a band and an era, Varieties of Religious Experience is not a clear-the-vaults effort, and the multiple takes are not filler; nor is their inclusion the result of an unchecked ego, intoxicated by its own brilliance, unable to edit itself. It would be equally wrong to suggest that Arrington's four-track takes are "originals", the band's versions are "alternates", and one is necessarily better than the other. While four-track enabled Arrington to cram songs full of esoteric sounds and a sheer ear-popping lunacy that can turn two minutes into kaleidoscopic trips, Hartman and Panic helped loosen his grip on the drum sticks, change up the whack-a-mole tempos, and let a song's backbone slide. Calling the result Varieties of Religious Experience emphasizes Arrington's belief that it's all good - every song is its own spark of playful, in-the-moment creation, its own shard of experience - and the remarkable thing is that all is good on this CD.