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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover

DISCIPLINE

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.10 | 1311 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Wied
4 stars After a lengthy wait time after Red, King Crimson returns with some new talent to record their first album of the eighties. The band Discipline, led by Fripp, eventually turned into King Crimson, and the name of the band it was based off of loaned a name to this album. Discipline is a great record, considering how much time was spent between albums. Perhaps the new band members Levin and Belew made the album what it is...

Tony Levin starts "Elephant Talk" with some swirly Chapman Stick work. Fripp establishes some complex guitar work while Bruford taps some tribal rhythms on his drum kit. Belew provides some screeches and elephant sounds from his guitar while ranting about how people communicate in alphabetical form. The lyrics are comical and cynical, and Belew delivers them effectively. He's also an excellent showman and awesome guitarist. This song is relatively short and almost danceable, yet it's not pop in the least bit. A real gem from the eighties. 5/5

The next song, "Frame by Frame", introduces itself with screechy guitar and fluttery bass, with Bruford providing accents on his eccentric kit. On most of this album, rather than a ride or hi-hat, he'll use an octoban for the ride pattern. "Frame by Frame" is soothing, and, if the band had a synth player, it would be a very spacey song. Most of the mood is really contributed by Levin, who plays a constant pattern that swirls around your ears. Belew's vocals are also perfect for the song. Again, it's a short song but not a pop song, and is a good song overall. 4/5

"Matte Kudasai" is a very calm song. It's good chill out music, and it's very short, so it doesn't drag itself around. It also acts as a good contrast to the next song. Belew's vocals are sweet as Lake's on this song. 4/5

From serenity to insanity goes this album. "Indiscipline" is a freak out song. Intended to let Bruford breath a bit, his percussion become a great deal more frantic on this song than on other songs. The guitars are harsh, as are the vocals. They alternate between quieter, spoken sections and a last line shouted at the top of Belew's lungs. If you're a fan of Bruford, you definitely want to hear this track, he is absolutely fantastic. All of the musicians are. 5/5

"Thela Hun Ginjeet" is a very jungle-ish song. The title is an anagram for "Heat in the Jungle". A bouncy song clocking in at over six minutes, Belew retells a story where he was captured by some thugs on the streets of New York in the middle of the song. Bruford has more tribal rhythm skills showing on this song. Again, all of the musicians show. 5/5

"The Sheltering Sky" is the longest track on the album, at eight and a half minutes. It's entirely instrumental, and has some psychedelic influences. The track does indeed sound like music to listen to as the clouds roll overhead as you lie on the side of a lake... The drumming is light, and the other instruments seem distant and calm. Great way to cool down from "Thela Hun Ginjeet". 4/5

The last song on the album and the title track, "Discipline" is another instrumental. Faster than the previous song, it features Belew and Fripp playing very similar lines with slight variation. Bruford keeps the time going, and Levin does great at filling out the song. Levin is really understated in the band, with the eccentric Belew, the genius Fripp, and the awesome drum skills of Bruford. Nobody wins this guitar battle. The best way to summarize this song is ordered chaos, with Bruford and Levin bringing order, while Fripp and Belew constantly change up the time signature. The guitars end the album in a finish that could have been improved upon slightly, but the rest of the song is perfect. 4/5

I never much liked much of the Crimson material published after this album. This is their last really great album. Fripp's "Rock Gamelan" experiment went really well, and I highly recommend this album. It is really easy to get into, and the songs are relatively short, so you can listen to it in stages rather than all at once. If only all bands could be King Crimson...

Wied | 4/5 |

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