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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Grand Opening And Closing CD (album) cover


Sleepytime Gorilla Museum



3.81 | 99 ratings

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4 stars SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM is one of those bands that I hadn't really expected on Prog Archives. Not that they shouldn't be here, but they owe a lot to bands like FOETUS, COP SHOOT COP and other punk/noise/industrial terrorists from the end 80's/early 90's and Prog isn't exactly the first thing that comes to my mind in that context. And of course I shouldn't forget to mention a certain MR. BUNGLE.

Especially the first track sounds like a tribute to FOETUS's noise-jazz-avant approach, it's nothing new under the sun but executed really well. Next on is "Ambugation", starting with a gentle jazzy piece before launching into a heavy continuation with odd-time punk-prog riffs that remind me of NOMEANSNO. With the atonal 'Ablutions' the band show their avant chops. The eerie female vocals and dissonant accompaniment compete with similar KAYO DOT moments. Wonderful piece. After the relative calm comes the storm. '1997' is another Foetus-meets-Metallica-meets-Red Hot Chili Peppers slab of noise-rock. SGM may not be very original here but they do this type of swinging over-the-top brutality really well.

On to the first of the two 10 minute epics. 'Powerless' is where SGM fully come into their own and allow us for a peek into their own deranged mindset; sometimes noisy, sometime industrial, this is also a very proggy track with a superbly entrancing and groovy mid-section. After the bass-heavy dissonance of "The Stain", "Sleepytime" offers a more subtle threat, one lurking underneath a seemingly innocent lullaby that gradually turns into a nightmare. The peaceful and beautiful avant piece "Sunflower" is a great choice for an album closer.

SGM may not be the most original act around but they hit all the right buttons for me with their mix of avant and heavy noise-rock, achieving a catchy rocking vibe that I often miss in real full-fledged Avant Guarde rock. Approach with care though, both the avant and the noise-rock angle will be not be easy to get into if you're used to more traditional melodic material. A near masterpiece for me.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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