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5uu's - Bel Marduk & Tiamat CD (album) cover

BEL MARDUK & TIAMAT

5uu's

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.92 | 19 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars This group was one of the weirdest around in the mid-80's and certainly rivalling with News From Babel or Skeleton Crew, relegating weirdoes like Debilme Menthols light years into accessible music realms. Indeed, Kerman's crew was certainly not looking for MTV exposure. The quintet (as the group's name would suggest) is a double guitar, but drummer Kerman's keyboards play an important role as well while Wilson's vocals will remind many of the early 80's new wave style of singing.

Right off the bat with the title track, you just hear that your mind will probably suffer musical torture and most likely will not come unscathed after been through intense listening sessions. Scale of Life presents some rather familiar sounds for those who like early- 80's electro-pop (via the era's sound, rest assured, not on the songwriting), often sounding like a much proggier Talking Heads without that very popish side. Other tracks like Ancient Internationalism actually sounds like Numan's Cars mixed with Byrne & Eno's Life In The Bush Of Ghost, with a bizarre cold twist. At other times, 5UU's sounds like a cross of Residents mixing it up with some Cardiacs and nesting it up in Henry Cow's pad. The instrumental Sporting, however, is a great excuse of searing guitar solo over some demented rhythms, while Dogma & Faith is maybe the band's better moment on this album.

With no tracks above the 4 minutes, this album is indeed stretching the generic definition of prog rock beyond the usual understanding of it, and the early 5UU's albums might receive a better description as avant-garde new wave. While not really up my alley, such an album is definitely worthy sticking an ear on it, but whether to acquire the album is another matter. Personally I'll pass on it.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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