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Blast - Wire Stitched Ears CD (album) cover

WIRE STITCHED EARS

Blast

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.21 | 5 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Well what do you know, even such classically-influenced prog rock country (Focus, Finch, Trace, Ekseption, etc?) like the Netherlands that became a neo-prog kingdom in the last two decades (90's & 00's), the 80's turned out to be quite inhabitual for the Dutch prog music scene as the country had their only RIO (yes, you read well) group, the crazy Henry-Cow influenced Blast. Created in the mid-80's, the Utrecht quartet's albums didn't see the light of day until the last part of the decade. This is their third album (if memory serves-and it was released on the awesome Cuneiform label with a more impressive innerfold artwork than the outer cover.

In this baby, the music is mostly instrumental, with both sung tracks intervening early on, which is Henry Cow-influenced, the singing being reminiscent of Dagmar Krause, either with the Cow or the Bears. By the fourth track, Welter, their music has morphed into a deranged, quirky and jumpy Klezmer/Manouche probably closer to the Swiss Debile Menthol group's works, or Quebec's Wondeur Brass music. The album steadily increases in difficulty and becomes a tad dissonant in its second half, but it's nothing a normal proghead can not endure. The album almost finds its place in the pantheon of insane asylum-ers with the Funiculaire being used to climb to such madness altitudes. One thing they do have right is that their Folksong is indeed not one, though, but for the rest, these guys are not from this planet, no matter how Dutch their passport is. The closing Or-Na-Ra-Tio is simply stunning and could cause your falling into the same warp-zone as theirs, but with no return ticket.

If you're usually a Dutch prog fan, stand warned that this band is indeed anything but typical lo- country album, and you might want to approach with extreme caution, and only after a couple of visits to the Bebile Cow & Bears psychiatrist's couch. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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