Ron Jarzombek “Solitarily Speaking Of Solitary Confinement” (2002)

Ron Jarzombek is a guitarist infamous for his unique style of playing, by taking sometimes rather silly time signatures, lightning-fast playing, an eclectic sense of melody and making it fun! His intriguing acrobatics have been showcased in many forms, Watchtower’s opus “Control And Resistance” was perhaps his breakthrough album, followed by his next band, “Spastic Ink” and their album “Ink Complete” which raised many an eyebrow and proceeded to singe them off.

“Solitarily Speaking Of Theoretical Confinement” (I’m impressed I can remember the title) continues on the path Jarzombek blazed with Spastic Ink and then adds some extra craziness for good measure. The beauty of the album is in the premise; 45 songs each continuing on from the last where the music is restricted to a formula created by common phrases or things from Ron’s life. An example is “Tri, Tri Again” which is played only using triplets, uses triads alternating between the key signatures of A Major (3 sharps) and Eb Major (3 flats) and each phrase is made of 3 pairs of measures of 3/4 time. For the listener’s convenience, the idea behind every song is outlined in the linear notes (pun not intended).

What this means is that every song is rather short and contains a lot of ideas in a short space of time. Key signatures change everywhere, metres are kept misty at best and the whole thing is just generally difficult to digest. Melody is present in Jarzombek’s signature form, notes from outside of the scale are shoved in wherever it seems necessary but he somehow makes them work.

There isn’t really too much I could say about the music without going through each song, which I don’t have the time for and I doubt you have the patience, and I could ramble for a bit about “emotional depth” and “feeling the music” but due to the compositional methods, I can’t really do that, nor does it seem that I should. Jarzombek has obviously made this for himself and other musicians. A normal metal listener will find little to like here, but that is fully intended as a a music theory enthusiast will find more substance in a single (30 second long) song than they may find in a whole album by a different, less psychopathic band. If you enjoyed the releases mentioned earlier or are just wanting something which does something a bit differently in terms of composition, then by all means, pick this up and cherish it, but if not, I wouldn’t bother.

-Simon Brand


Release:  2002
Label:  Mr. Kitty
Avantgenre:  Eclectic Progressive Metal
Duration:  44:42
Origin:  USA
Official site:
Review online since:  26.05.2009 / 20:51:23


Oh God…

01 – Wait A Second…
02 – A Headache And A Sixty-Fourth
03 – I’ve Got The Runs
04 – Spelling Bee
05 – 911
06 – Melodramatic Chromatic
07 – To B Or Not To B
08 – Dramatic Chromatic
09 – Frank Can Get Drunk And Eat Beer
10 – Battle Of The Hands
11 – About Face
12 – Having Second Thoughts
13 – Two-Face
14 – 7 Up
15 – Sabbatic Chromatic
16 –
17 – Grizzly Bears Don’t Fly Airplanes
18 – Snuff
19 – Sex With Squeakie
20 – Two Thirds Of Satan
21 – At The 7-11
22 – On Second Thought
23 – The Whole Truth, Nothing But…
24 – Sick, Dirty, Sick
25 – Minor Yours
26 – Minor Else!
27 – Give Me A Break
28 – Yum Yum Tree
29 – At The Stop-N-Go
30 – On A Scale From 1 To 10
31 – Static Chromatic
32 – Rigidude
33 – Erratic Chromatic
34 – WatchTower
35 – Back And Forth
36 – Dimented
37 – 1st And 10
38 – Gimme 5
39 – In The Name Of Ron
40 – I’ve Got The Runs Again
41 – Tri, Tri Again
42 – 9 To 5
43 – I’ve Got The Runs Really Bad
44 – Gee!
45 – I’ll Be Back…

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