Grassy Sound is a new duo from Ron Stabinsky (Meat Puppets, Peter Evans Quintet, etc) and Nick Millevoi (Desertion Trio, etc), and the first time I heard “Flitzer,” I stopped everything I was doing as my jaw dropped. Both Stabinsky and Millevoi are as good as it gets as far as keyboard/organ and guitar players, respectively, go, but their combined prowess found a surprising starting point: surf music. “Flitzer” glides along the crests with Stabinsky rollicking through soulful, drenched runs that skirt around emotive glances with style.
The duo have known each other for a while and played together in various groups. “Ron and I have collaborated in a bunch of different settings over the years,” Millevoi explains, including the excellent Desertion Trio. “When we recorded on Desertion Trio’s Twilight Time record—which is an anarchic take on doo-wop, surf, and other music from the ’50s and ’60s—we realized there was more to discover in that world, with just the two of us. So, Grassy Sound was born.”
Millevoi’s bouncing shred is rife with joy and imagination, cutting pockets between the organ arrangements straight into the twilight zone. Deep in the recesses, the duo shift gears on a dime and go into straight expressive mode with angular atmospherics and spectral pyrotechnics before diving back into the waves. “Flitzer” has me dreaming of the weirdest summer possible. I want to be on that porch with Stabinsky and Millevoi.
“Flitzer” appears on Grassy Sound’s debut album, The Sounds of Grassy Sound, which features the rest of the Meat Puppets (both Kirkwood brothers plus drummer Derrick Bostrom) will be released on July 8 via Destiny Records.