Sunday, June 18, 2017

L’ Ira del Baccano- Paradox Hourglass (Subsound Records SSR052CD)

This is the 2nd album by the 4 piece instrumental Italian band.  I really liked the last one a lot so was quite looking forward to hear this one.  The album features four long tracks staring off with the title track, Part 1.  This track features some pretty intense drumming (or maybe it feels that way because the drums are mixed quite high in the mix). The two guitars weave in and out of some interesting paths, with sections of solos or noisy a bit psychedelic bits. Occasionally, they are synthesizers as well. Ivan lays down some great bass lines also. Cool track. Part 2 of the Paradox Hourglass, No Razor for Ocam, is a more heavy metallic track in nature, later there is a short spacey section, then back into the heavy theme. Abilene (The trip to.) is next. IT starts slow and melodic but soon a heavy riff kicks in.. There are so many changes and riffs in these songs, they must be really hard to remember. The band must rehearse a lot!! Anyway.. back to Abilene, the mid section is really nice and spacey and relaxing and I really wish they had kept this going a bit longer with a nice melodic guitar solo after the spacey synths and e-bow guitar before going heavy again. Oh well. Later, the synthesizer takes the lead role while the heavy riff continues and they take this out to the end. The Blind Phoenix Rises is the closing track on the album. This is a pretty doomy track and a bit slower and also by far the shortest, almost feels like it’s incomplete.. Anyway, another very cool album with so many changes in it. Please check them out…

I really liked the album a lot but the drums are mixed a bit too high for my taste, especially the snare drum at time, it really annoyed me.  Sounds like they pushed the drums too hard in the mastering, maybe?  Amazing artwork  by Fabio Listrani.  Cool stuff..

White Hills- Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills are back with another step into in a new area of psychedelia. While they have built their career up early on based as a high energy guitar driven space rock band, the last 3 records have really shown a growth in musical experimentation like never before.  I have to say straight up that if you are not into a sort of more old school Cabaret Voltaire electro 80s vibe, then this album is probably gong to disappoint you. There is still a decent amount of guitar on many of the tracks but nearly all the drums are programmed (from what I can tell and no one is credited with drums). Some of this stuff is very psychedelic and has a strong political message and is clearly an album to make people think a bit, much like the last one.  I got pretty tripped out on the record..  I wonder how they will put this together live on the upcoming Europe tour???  A much more visual experience, I expect.  Check out the great videos work Ego has done for the track below.. Attack mode reminds me of Ministry! Enjoy....

Kris Gietkowski- Three of A Kind (Fruits de Mer Strange Fish No. eight)

UK based Polish multi-instrumentalist is back with a series of three classic albums that he does his own renditions of the albums. The albums are: Atomic Rooster- Debut, The Crazy world of Arthur Brown and the first album by EGG (which I reviewed last month).  These are all instrumental versions with the vocals left out and in fact on the Atomic Rooster, all the instruments except the drums are left out.. Bizzare…. I really like the first Atomic Rooster album and this instrumental version focuses mostly on the keyboards. I felt the drumming was the weakest part, just lacking that attack of Carl Palmer. Overall, you can just feel it is not played by a full band and one instrument at a time. The keyboard and organ playing is great but with out the vocals a lot of it is starts to sound the same and there is not a lot of guitar played either.

As for the Arthur Brown, musically it is pretty close to the classic record and very keyboard driven with not nearly as much guitar as the album. The vocals are all stripped away. I had a lot of problem playing this CD as well. Anyway, I can’t really give a strong recommendation for this set, although the EGG record is cool. I still would rather hear the original records than these instrumental renditions.  Kris is a talented guy but he needs to find a great band to put his talents into, rather than remaking others music.