On Blue Fog
(Blue Fog/Sonic Unyon)
The former head Deadly Snake serves up some roomy compositions. A couple of solos, by saxophonist Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think and guitarist Chad Ross, arrive in the most offhand way to elevate and utterly justify the lengths of “On Lies” and “Pride of Egypt,” respectively. At key moments, Ethier approaches the sense of spontaneity and metaphorical flow heard on Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. His songs often begin like a line drawing and reach a stage where he’ll let in other sounds like opening a window, or not. His lyrics can be cryptic and the tempo he favours is lumbering, but enough wit and passion is emitted to draw you in.