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Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Tangle CD (album) cover


Thinking Fellers Union Local 282



3.00 | 2 ratings

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3 stars The Thinking Fellers second album is an improvement over the sprawling, unfocused debut album, but the band's best days were still ahead. Here, there is a marked increase in the aggressiveness of their playing, taking fuller advantage of the Beefheartian possibilities a three-guitar front line provides. However, there are still too many songs that just aren't that memorable. Knowing the dizzy heights of creative madness this band would soon reach with their next three full length albums, I can't award this album more than three stars. But at its best, this album has moments you won't soon forget.

To begin with, "Sister Hell" is a fantastic opener, with its sinister yet comical shuffling riff and really cool shouted chorus. "Change Your Mind", my favorite track here, also pushes some funny buttons. The main section of the song resembles one of Beefheart's more normal instrumentals (e.g. Semi-Multicolored Caucasian), with a light, almost indifferent shuffle, accompanied by plaintively sung nonsense lyrics. And then the music stops suddenly, interrupted by a couple of unaccompanied lines of screamed lyrics that have me rolling on the floor every time. The song then enters another wacky (different) shuffle section, interrupted again by more screamed lyrics. DC al Coda, and we're done. One of the most bizarrely delightful wack jobs in their discography.

The remainder of the songs are good too, just not the creative melodic powerhouses that I'm accustomed to hearing from this band. They were still developing their writing skills at this point, though their ensemble sound is already gelling into something really original and exciting.

HolyMoly | 3/5 |


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