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Ahleuchatistas - Heads Full of Poison CD (album) cover





3.88 | 5 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Ahleuchatistas (AH LOO CHA TEES TAS) is now Shane Perlowin (guitar/ bass) and drummer Ryan Oslance ? originally a trio, this is the seventh album from the band that was founded in 2002. For the curious the name comes from two words, "Ah-leu-cha" (a Charlie Parker song) and "Zapatistas" (a revolutionary movement which started in Mexico in 1994). To say that the music is as unusual as the name, is something of an understatement. The music was recorded live, with just a few overdubs from Shane where he was providing more than one instrument at a time, and the result is something that is quite inspired albeit not exactly easy listening.

This is an instrumental odyssey into the unknown, and for many this will be a journey that they will not wish to embark upon, but if you have a need to expand your musical boundaries then this may be just the thing. Free jazz is just a starting point, and with obvious nods to Art Zoyd and Can they have brought together textures from all over the world. Ryan must be worn out at the end of each gig as his percussion rate is phenomenal, while Shane moves easily from fuzzed out droning guitars to single string attacks on an acoustic where I am amazed the he doesn't break strings with regularity given the ferocity and tempo. If he was playing chords instead of single notes and turned it up then this would give most thrash bands a run for their money. There is also a lot of Eastern influences at times, with some songs sounding almost Japanese in style.

Each song is very different, but to enjoy this leave your preconceptions of what music should sound like at the door and settle down to something that will challenge your ears. There won't be many who will relish playing this to be honest, but those who do will be richly rewarded. This is the first time I have heard the band and I have read that in the early days they sounded a bit more like Beefheart ? some further investigation is in order methinks.

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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