I’ve been transparent in my adoration for Wet Tuna’s Eau’d To a Fake Bookie series, so the first two volumes getting a proper reissue treatment is a beautiful thing. The duo of Matt Valentine and Pat Gubler (aka PG Six) know how to get lost in strange places, knowing that finding the good times within the journey is always going to lead to brighter, freakier pastures than if we just follow the path of least resistance. Fake Bookie Vols. 1 & 2 are liquified dreams spread across astral groove surfaces and each echo is a celestial call to let go and be free.
When the curtains ignite and disappear, the opening blessings of “When I Get Home” stream down like amplified raindrops. Valentine and Gubler align their guitars in the sunkissed resonance of dusk, lamenting the people and places they’ve been that have disappeared into the sweetest shade. “I really, really, really should go because I know my baby’s back home,” Valentine sings, a call to the golden road to take us back home. Valentine’s signature guitar sound drinks the slow spin of prismatic wah-wah, transporting us into the blissed-out wilderness. Seriously, every trip Wet Tuna goes on is like a little slice of heaven.
Big fuzzed-out spirals crash the gates of the bruising “Fallin’ Like Dominoes.” Basslines smooth out the harshest edges, but that guitar howl harvests all the stray whispers and gathers them into a gossamer web. Transient shimmers hush the overcast worries, creating just enough space for another searing guitar solo to rip the hours into an everlasting glow that bleeds into the outer space honky tonk vibes of “THTC.” Bouncing rhythms carry the hollow organ drones back into the fire where there’s nothing left to burn, but the ashes send smoke toward the heavens for days on end. Crystals line steel strings with a glassine haze as Valentine’s voice gets buried under fried memories of another dimension.
There’s a tangible sort of wizardry that flows when Matt Valentine and Pat Gubler join forces. Wet Tuna exists in this space where cosmic pathways form out of thin air and spread as natural as sunbeams toward the horizon. It’s as though they are tapped into another plane of existence where this beautiful, enchanting music already exists and they can channel it into our own dimension. Eau’d To a Fake Bookie Vol. 1 & 2 is a quixotic distillation of that feeling and as it gets saturated in the warm light of a billion glimmering stars, we’re all surfing into the distance as free as we’ve ever been. Welcome to the magic hour.