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Rattlemouth - Walking A Full Moon Dog  CD (album) cover





3.13 | 7 ratings

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3 stars Rattlemouth's debut album features a series of short, sharp blasts of avant prog played by a sax/guitar/bass/drums quartet with occasional vocals. The most obvious point of comparison is Etron Fou Leloublan, although it's probably more accurate to say that if EFL had been American they'd have sounded like this (in much the same way you could say that an American National Health would have sounded like The Muffins).

It's a highly listenable album which features little in the way of overdubbing or production effects; as is often the case with recent Cuneiform releases it's the sound of the band playing their instruments in a room and, well, that's pretty much it. Of course they're all extremely accomplished musicians, which helps, the playing is crisp and precise and the arrangements are complex enough to satisfy any reasonably demanding fan of avant prog and there are some inspired moments along the way. On the downside, the dynamics don't vary that much and the pieces tend to blur into one another at times. Although they have a fairly abrasive sound they never really edge into the hardcore brutality of some John Zorn projects, and they never relax into a more mellow, lyrical groove either. The vocal tracks feature some pretty imaginative Captain Beefheart or Tom Waits style stream of consciousness beat poetry, but the voice they're delivered in isn't that strong. The stand out is Lumbering Thub (the de facto title track), which is also the most effective of the three that feature vocals - the second part of the song sounds oddly like John Lydon with Public Image Ltd.

Although there are plenty of good things to say about this album, it's hard to give it a really strong recommendation. If you like Etron Fou Leloublan or Captain Beefheart you'll probably like this as well, but (for me at any rate) there's nothing truly outstanding about it.

Syzygy | 3/5 |


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