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Moonchild Trio - The Crucible CD (album) cover


Moonchild Trio



3.66 | 10 ratings

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Equality 7-2521
3 stars The fourth of the Moonchild trio (Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, Joey Baron) shows us that Zorn will continue to experiment and augment the basic line-up. This time we have John Zorn participating as a full member on alto-sax as usual, and Marc Ribot stoping by to lay down guitar on "9x9".

The basic formula remains the same: Joey Baron lays down his amazing, tasteful, complex drum work, Trevor Dunn plays heavily distorted, rhythmic base-lines, which serve as the foundation for most of the songs, and Mike Patton imitates the psychiatric ward with his vocals. Zorn's sax work really shines here. As always when he plays I can't listen to anything else. I enjoy what he's done here more than on the previous album, because while he played almost exclusively in the high resgister on Six Litanies, much of the just emulating Patton's vocals, here we see more of a full repitoire from him. A great dynamic that really fits in perfectly with the music.

Given the description and what you know of John Zorn, you would think this must be pretty avant-garde, obtuse stuff right? What makes this album work so well is that most of the time that assumption is dead wrong. When this album is at its best it's sickeningly catchy. Despite the complexity and the manic vocal and saxophone screaming, this comes off as a fun, mindless, summertime rock album in its feel. Joey Baron in particular performs with incredible groove.

While a majority of the album is as I described, it also has a much different side. Six Litanies was the "creepy" album, and The Crucible seems like it was meant to be the "evil" album. Some tracks really slow down the tempo, are heavier and darker, and feature Patton "singing" passages from the necronomicon of Lovecraft lore. The music certainly achieves its goal of being evil, but I think the album drags in these places. If Zorn continued with the funner side of things this would be a five star album in my mind.

"9x9" is a different track entirely. It features a "Black Dog"-esque guitar riff which the other performes build around. A nice Led Zeppelin tribute and a fine track.

I hope more people check this out as it didn't recieve the attention Six Litanies did. It has some slow points, but when the album moves it's truely great.

Equality 7-2521 | 3/5 |


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