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5uu's - Bel Marduk & Tiamat CD (album) cover





2.94 | 21 ratings

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4 stars The first 5uu's album - very interesting indeed. You can feel 80's New Wave here, old-school progressive rock, and a little of god-knows-what (perhaps Henry Cow?) -- it's all very colorful. You can tell that whoever made this was young, and it's all the better for it.

The introductory track is beyond cheesy. Some mystical cymbals, reverse-fed vocals intoning words from a bad fantasy novel -- lead to some wonderful demo-tape synths and drum machines playing additive rhythms in shifting time signature. I love it.

"The Scale of Life" lopes through time signature changes every bar - and it's hella catchy! Curt Wilson never sounded better. The drums are incredibly exuberant - as if young Dave Kerman couldn't help but beat the living crap out of everything nearby.

"Compromisation" is a little lame. The lyrics are about the Porcupine's Dilemma, a topic viewers of Neon Genesis Evangelion should be familiar with... but enough about my nerdy hobbies -- this track has some cool gooshy accordion sounds and a nifty 9/4 bass pedal groove, but that's about it.

"Loyalty to Creation" starts nowhere and goes nowhere, fast. Gotta love that enthusiasm though! This album RUNS on enthusiasm, something sorely missed on recent Kerman releases, which are horribly dead by comparison...

"Ancient Internationalism" keeps a constant 12/4 tom groove throughout, which gets real obnoxious real quick. Love those unison synths, though. Modern music needs more synths.

"The Fear of Life" returns to the shifting meters of the early tracks - a welcome return. The durations and pitches were determined via chance -- the vocals were improvised on the spot. And it sounds GREAT.

"Contemporary Global Friction" is a track that was sadly deleted from the final cut in the "Point of Views" compilation. It opens with sounds like a bowling alley in the background; soon, vocals produced by The Residents appear (literally - Kerman phoned them for help!) -- these give way to an excellent percussion workout in the vein of Stravinsky. The finale is utterly bizarre - slowed down drums and shouted phonemes.

"Sporting" brings us back to stadium-prog land -- theatrical guitars, 15/8-to-the-floor drums... but only two melodic ideas. Ugh.

"Magic, Dogma, & Faith" is wonderful; we see the demo theme from the introduction fully realized; it comes together quite nicely.

A great, energetic debut album with plenty of excited drums. Definitely recommended!

penguindf12 | 4/5 |


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