Giraffes The Days Are Filled With Years

Ex-President of the USA Chris Ballew's solo project has a whole lot right with it. Minimalist, low-key, acoustic and mellow, the album was made entirely by Ballew on an eight-track with a few mics in a home studio - proof that DIY can result in some outstanding end products. The jacket art is as simple as the music seems to be, but a glance at the list of instruments used (two and three-string guitar, one-string bass, three-string banjo, among others) tell another story. The mellowness is a polar opposite of the Presidents, but there is still wit in Ballew's writing that thread a common link between the two projects. Winners abound, from the mysterious "Giraffes in the Underworld" opener to the surf/scratch "Cypress Ghost" to the Reverend Horton Heat-on-Quaaludes "Drunk on the Sweepings" to the lamenting "Gone Again Gone" (dedicated to the memory of Ballew's close friend, creative mentor and Morphine genius Mark Sandman). The album is a mellow sip of lazy sunshine along a sunset coast, and as near perfect as anything I've heard this year. (Orange)