Album Review: Pelican Movement | Fistful of Ivy | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Album Review: Pelican Movement | Fistful of Ivy

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Pelican Movement | Fistful of Ivy

(Feeding Tube Records)

Fistful of Ivy is a wondrously fitful yet deliberate experiment in the trust of art and concept. With unorthodox intent, it is birthed in memoriam of a mother and disease that robs us of memories, present attentions, and future realities. A state of mind that darts in and out with increasing urgency and momentum—a frustrating teacher of patience, of acceptance, loss, and the chaos of life's fleeting beauty. The brainchild of New Paltz musician, songwriter, and producer Kevin S. McMahon, Fistful of Ivy is a 40-minute collage of meticulous creation combined with a leap of faith in the art of letting go. McMahon wrote the piece, taught it separately to a myriad of disparate individuals, and then pressed record.

Ultimately, the belief in process and the innate instincts of a talented community results in an elaborate and breathtaking piece. Bending to the very edge of break, the psychedelic and propulsive mayhem is barely hinged and surprisingly cohesive. The nerve endings are alive and raw, searching for and artfully embracing connection. Equally deserving and demanding of one's attention, the result is a rainbow of sweet and dark, melodic and frenetic. Teetering beats chase ever changing time signatures, welcoming and then dispossessing the serpentine instrumentation. This is a constant nourishment and deconstruction of tempo and emotion. The psychotic humanity of King Crimson dissolving in Jeff Buckley interludes only to fatally erupt in Sonic Youth crescendo and fracas. Multiple listens only garner a further appreciation of the breadth of influence and intricacy.

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