Words by Russell Carstens

Jonny Polonsky creates a curious mixture of darkness and optimism that’s not easy to pull off on his latest release, The Other Side of Midnight. Polonsky himself played all the instruments, produced, and recorded the collection of songs, which, fittingly, was mixed at David Lynch’s Asymmetrical Studios.

Opening with “Chip Away The Stone,” the album slowly reveals itself in a fog of dark soul. The slow buzzsaw ballad “Lay Down Your Arms” flaunts a vocal melody which takes its time on it way to your heart. “Sunset Night” is an acoustic blues stomp with plenty of snarky attitude in Polonsky’s vocal delivery. It’s reminiscent of the slow, broody tunes on Raw Power, with a guitar solo beamed in from Mars.

On “Sunset Night,” Polonsky sings, “I know you’re for real,” as if he’s trying to convince himself of the reality of a drug-induced insight or realization. The yearning of “Waiting For Something” is gorgeous and heartfelt — a plea for anything to come his way and give life deeper meaning.

While “The Motherlode” mixes Indian elements with sparse electronic drums, The Other Side of Midnight can feel one-dimensional at times. By the time the distorted guitars of “Forevers End,” appear, it’s a relief to hear the instrument in a different context.

Polonsky’s melodies, ideas and songs as a whole are strong enough to not have to rely so heavily on atmospheres and electronics. Here’s to a very solid effort on The Other Side of Midnight, and hopes that Polonsky will make use of more stripped-down production on his next album. His songs and talent deserve it.

Jonny Polonsky
‘The Other Side of Midnight’
Sound Science Industries
© May 12th, 2015



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