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Massacre - Killing Time CD (album) cover

KILLING TIME

Massacre

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.50 | 21 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is MASSACRE's debut released in 1981. We get Fred Frith on guitar, Bill Laswell on bass and Fred Maher on drums. Laswell and Maher were part of Daevid Allen's New York GONG which had just broken up. This trio would also be part of MATERIAL's debut album released the same year as this record, as well as being part of Frith's solo album "Speechless". That New York atttude is here in spades as we get a mostly stripped down sound with a punk flavour. I've read several reviewers who feel this is bordering on Math Rock at times as we get plenty of complex compositions. There are 19 tracks worth over 63 plus minutes.

"You Said" is experimental as sounds pulse and squeek. Sampled spoken words follow as the pulse stops. "Legs" has uptempo guitar and an almost Reggae-like rhythm. Catchy stuff. "Aging With Dignity" is one of those Math-Rock type tracks full of complexities. "Subway Heart" is noisy with lots going on then it slows down some before a minute. Impressive. "Killing Time" is more of the same really. Catchy stuff though. "Corridor/ Lost Causes/ Not The Person We Knew" is experimental with pounding drums to start. I like when it settles in with bass as the guitar continues to scream. A change after 2 minutes as it settles back quite a bit but the guitar continues to challenge. Man Frith can play. Love the bass playing of Laswell too. It's picking up after 4 minutes then it settles with intricate sounds this time. Love the drumming 7 minutes in and the guitar is angular. "Know" is a top three as we get a haunting atmosphere with random drum patterns. "Bones" is catchy with intricate and complex sounds. "Tourism" is stripped down with those Math-Rock complexities. Angular guitar later followed by drums.

"Surfing" puts the focus on the rhythm and there's some pocket trumpet from Laswell. "As Is" is experimental as sounds come and go with no melody. The drums start to dominate 4 minutes in but it's also fairly repetitive here. "After" is a top three of mine. I really like the sound of this one as the guitar makes plenty of noise and it's quite innovative as the bass and drums impress. "Gate" is different, even the drums sound like they are from an island. "Conversations With White Arc" is sparse and stripped down. "Carrying" is just outside of my top three with those deep bass and drum sounds with the innovative guitar expressions. "Brit" features angular guitar and percussion sounds along with a tambourine. "Third Street" is my final top three. It's dark, sparse and experimental until before 2 minutes when the tempo picks up. I like this one. "3 O'Clock, June 21st, Get Down There And Do It" has sampled background words and a dark soundscape of sounds that come and go. "FBI" is catchy with so much going on right before it ends.

My avant friends will be disappointed with the 3 star rating but I just have trouble enjoying this album despite being impressed with all three guys. And yes this is a really good album to get just to hear Frith's excellent guitar work. I'm just not big on this style.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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