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The Bob Lazar Story - Vanquisher CD (album) cover

VANQUISHER

The Bob Lazar Story

 

Eclectic Prog

2.00 | 1 ratings

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TCat
2 stars 'The Bob Lazer Story' is an Eclectic Prog band from New Zealand that was founded in 2006. The music covers quite an array of styles, quick to change from one style to another. The album 'Vanquisher' is their 4th full length studio album. The band is made up of Matt Deacon on guitars and vocals, Mike Fudakowski on bass, Chris Jago on drums. Guests Zeke Deacon also provides some vocals and Jacob Petrossian plays lead guitar on track 7. The album is made up of 16 tracks, most of them under 5 minutes, but 2 manage to make it over 5 minutes.

'Pongville' (0:50) starts out as a jazzy number and ends up sounding very pong-like. 'Eleven' (1:55) is a bit smoother with a tropical feel and a complex drum pattern. 'Eyes Only/Vanquisher' (2:00) comes across both bright and colorful, then changes to a slightly darker tone, but never really developing into anything. 'Section 8' (1:52) begins with heavy guitars, but then turns suddenly more minimal and then builds back some steam as it goes on. The rhythm is tricky again, very progressive and covering some interesting territory, but goes by so fast that it never settles into anything.

Finally, the 5th track manages to get up to 4 minutes. 'Project Top Secret' bounces around a lot, hoping to different rhythms and melodies and then suddenly becoming minimal around the 2 minute mark, before a sudden heavy guitar riff comes in contrasted by a brighter melody provided by electronic keys. After that, it chugs along directed by that chunky riff while the synth merrily sings along. 'Arps' (0:06) is fast and quirky, over almost as soon as it begins, just a cascade of fast notes. 'Ambient Pedals' (3:05) goes back to a heavy, chunky sound with drums pounding slowly along to the dark riffs. Several layers just churn along, tripping over each other clumsily. 'Randoloftentimes' (0:19) is simply electric guitar playing what sounds like a snippet of a solo.

'Is This Foodstool?' (6:36) is the longest track on this reader's digest of condensed tunes. The guitars and organ follow a King Crimson inspired style with some nice complexities, odd meters and a long, strange sustained note that suddenly takes the air out of everything. A bass sound just kind of plucks along after this for a while, then acoustic guitar picks up a pensive quasi- melody. Not much happens for a while as you wait expectedly for something to happen, it just doesn't. The track started interesting enough, but then goes nowhere. 'Tony!!' (0:19) sounds like a kid and adult yelling at each other indiscernibly. 'Restroom' (0:44) is some backward sounding percussion effects with a pointless melody on top of it. 'Goodbye Victor Tripaldi' (2:30) has a sort-of Tortoise vibe to it, tonal and regular percussion, lots of organ and guitar playing together. One of the more interesting tracks, but it is too short. It does manage to boil into a nice progressive interaction towards the end

'Hooves & Broken Biscuits' (4:32) starts with synthesized choral effects that morphs into a soft electric piano style, then following into a heavy interaction between drums, organ and guitar. Some hollering is going on in the background as the keys swirl around, and then the tune slips into a slow, blues style vibe led by bass and guitar As it nears the end, things suddenly get chaotic and the tempo speeds up to a moderate pounding while a heavy guitar takes over and leads the track to it's conclusion. 'Two for the Rest' (3:49) consists of keyboard loops that build one note at a time until a repeating riff is formed, and a laid-back, moderate rhythm takes over. The smoothness gives into a progressive vibe and then moves back to the steady rhythm again as everything else just kind of meanders along aimlessly, then it all comes together in a slow march with the guitar playing a more focused melody.

'Operation Full Klinger' (5:31) just kind of goes everywhere, never settling into any style, and then suddenly goes really weird by repeating an ascending and descending effect over and over again for about a minute and a half. Finally at 3 minutes, a jazz like vibe takes over with some guitar and slow drums which seems like it could develop into something, but most likely will only cause you to fall to the floor when you fall asleep. But you will be awakened by a sudden fast section with a crazy synth style solo, which ends up not developing into anything except for an ending. 'Elvensnip' (1:33) ends this wandering album with meandering guitar and electronic keys.

While it's true this album covers a lot of instrumental territory in a short time, it never seems to arrive anywhere. It just seems to be weird for the sake of being weird and not so much for being musically worth anything. There are some strange ideas here, and if the band could just settle in on an idea long enough, they might have been developed into something. And then, each time you think they have hit on something, things just suddenly take a turn for the worse. The many short tracks might give the appearance of being quirky or daring, and that would be okay, but what we end up with is a lot of time spent not going anywhere or developing anything, and only a couple of tracks that are truly interesting, but even those don't get time to develop, either that, or they just take a strange turn where it seems like time is just being eaten up. And with an album that doesn't even make it to 40 minutes, it seems that most of this album is just eaten up time.

TCat | 2/5 |

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