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David Torn - David Torn, Mick Karn & Terry Bozzio: Polytown CD (album) cover


David Torn


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.91 | 38 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 3.5 stars. I don't usually complain about lack of variety but I wish they had changed things up a bit more on this one. Torn's guitar soundscapes dominate here and while I love Bozzio's drum work he seems to be holding back on purpose here throughout. The third member Mick Karn impresses me the most with his bass playing and he also adds bass clarinet I just wish there was more of it. This album did remind me of Torn's next album "What Means Solid Traveller?" only I do feel "Polytown" is a step up from that one but not as good as "Cloud About Mercury" from 1987. Torn does add some Hammond B3 organ and harmonica and Bozzio does play some ethnic instruments besides drums.

"Honey Sweating" features the bass and drums contrasting with the guitar expressions until it all settles in around 1 1/2 minutes. Back to the contrasts less than a minute later as themes are repeated. "Palms For Lester" is a top three for me. Drums lead early as we get plenty of atmosphere. Guitar expressions before 1 1/2 minutes and check out the bass! The guitar sounds really good starting before 3 minutes. It calms right down after 4 minutes, lots of percussion and atmosphere. The guitar starts to make some noise before 6 minutes and piano ends it.

"Open Letter To The Heart Of Diaphora" is another top three. This one's kind of trippy, dark and relaxed. The guitar starts to solo after 3 minutes then it quickly gets back to that earlier sound. "Bandaged By Dreams" opens with atmosphere, bass, guitar expressions and beats. A calm 2 minutes in as bass clarinet arrives but the guitar joins in quickly and dominates. Mournful guitar after 3 1/2 minutes and it brings Rypdal to mind. Love the guitar to end it. "Warrior Horsemen Of The Spirit Thundering Over Hills Of Doubt To A Place Of Hope" alrighty then. Okay it's my final top three despite the title. A ton of atmosphere as percussion and drums join in. Bass clarinet after 4 1/2 minutes to end it.

"Snail Hair Dune" opens with drums and atmosphere as guitar and bass join in. Loops and programming too on this repetitive track. It picks up some 4 1/2 minutes in with drums, bass and guitar. A calm 6 minutes in with drums and atmosphere before the bass and guitar return. Love the bass after 4 1/2 minutes. "This Is The Abduction Scene" has some nasty bass sounds along with drums and atmosphere. The guitar starts grinding it out 1 1/2 minutes in then it picks up. "Red Sleep" opens with beats and atmosphere before the organ and bass arrive.

"Res Majuko" is led by percussion, bass and guitar before the organ creates some atmosphere. The guitar is more aggressive after 2 minutes. "City Of The Dead" is the closer. Atmosphere and scraping guitar sounds. Some ethnic sounds here too. This is headphone music right here. Other sounds cry out and there's no real melody here but an experimental soundscape.

I just can't click on that 4th star despite being a pretty big fan of all three. Glad I finally got to spend some time with it though.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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