Featuring such notable and OG punk/rock/alternative rock icons as Jill Emery (Mazzy Star, Hole); Don Bolles (The Germs); Dustin Boyer (John Cale); Paul Roessler (The Screamers, Twisted Roots); Mark Reback (Vast Asteroid); Ygarr Ygarrist (Zolar X) and Geza X (Geza X and the Mommymen, The Deadbeats), Richard James Simpson’s sophomore solo album, “Deep Dream”, offers ferocious, heart-wrenching songs that provide a unique sonic experience.
As the great 13th-century Persian poet Rumi once wrote, “Understand the nature of impurity. If your key is bent, the lock will not open.” We find a similar conundrum opined in Simpson’s song “I Couldn’t Be Happier.” The brooding, hypnotic music tinged with echoes of slowed-down slide guitar and a Shruti box are peppered with lyrics beckoning the listener to “come one step closer” and give themselves to an unknown, shadowy presence. It attempts to lure them in with the promise of a secret and a key that will allow them walk for free. The feel is uneasy – like an open switch blade – while at the same time alluring. The title infers that the key is already within, that we are already whole and do not need to be tempted,or conned, by secrets; our human spirit is finer than any artificial substitute.