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The Muffins - Chronometers CD (album) cover


The Muffins


Canterbury Scene

3.77 | 43 ratings

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4 stars The whole dark period of the early Muffins' history came to an end with all these archival releases poppin' out here and there.So in 1975 the trio of keyboardist/saxophonist Dave Newhouse, guitarist Michael Zentner and bassist Billy Swann was accompanied by wind instrumentalist Tom Scott and drummer Stuart Abramowitz.This line-up recorded a great number of tracks between 1975 and 1976, which finally saw the light almost 20 years later with the great documentary release ''Chronometers'' by Cuneiform Records.

''Chronometers'' refers to the grand 23-min. epic recorded by the group between May and June 76' at The Muffins' studio.This is really The Muffins at their best, showing great instrumental diversity and a phrenomenal ability to switch between unrelated themes and music styles.It comes like a cross between demanding Jazz Rock, elegant Canterbury Fusion (to which The Muffins listened a lot around the time), quirky Avant-Prog, US vilolin-driven KANSAS-like Hard Prog and even dreamy Symphonic Rock.No need to mention there are endless changing themes throughout the composition, ranging from inventive guitar-based jazzy solos and Canterbury-influenced rich interplays in the vein of SUPERSISTER, CARAVAN or NATIONAL HEALTH to ZAPPA-esque vocal breaks with theatrical/satirical tendencies and tons of saxes/clarinets and folky/symphonic soundscapes with warm flute parts in the vein of GENESIS.This track alone is a good reason to hunt this very nice archival work.The rest of the album contains 20 more, mostly instrumental, tunes, of a short length, some of them sound not fully developed or fairly unfinished, others sound completely connected like creating a longer piece, and come from recordings around November 75' at Paragon Studios in Silver Spring.These follow more or less the vein of the grand eponymous track, showing the direction the band was heading in the mid-70's.Quirky, sometimes frenetic, energetic, passionate and diverse Progressive Rock with Jazz, Canterbury, R.I.O. and Fusion influences, highlighted by the impressive interplays and the extremely high level of technique of the group.

One of the archival releases from the past that need to be in your collection.The title track is excellent and the rest of the shorter tunes are satisfying as well.Strongly recommended to all fans of Progressive Rock.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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