If you listen close enough, you can hear it: that distinct sucking sound emanating from the jam-band world as Phish exits stage right and the rest of the rabble jockeys to take its place -- or at least move up in the pecking order. But Phish's surprise disintegration will likely have little effect on the Columbia quartet Bockman's Euphio. Judging by Gorjus: Fighting Bockman's Euphio
, these guys have bigger fish to fry. Recorded in the band's home studio, Gorjus
is a distinct shift that signifies the group's maturation from college band to career band. There's a healthy amount of sonic derring-do, along with enough driving grooves to keep the aisle-spinners satiated, but it's melodic writing that sets Bockman's Euphio apart. For every electronica-inspired "Gorjus" or "Slipping Spider," there's a radio-friendly "Patience" or a hook-filled "Reverie." Most groups accept the jam-band label as a blessing and a curse, but Bockman's Euphio seems to be flirting instead with pop legitimacy, held back only by its insistence on expansive songs. But maybe pop cred isn't a bad carrot to chase. After all, nobody wants to end up a played-out jam act with nowhere to go but down.