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USES WRIST GRAB

Bone

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is an album that emerged from a highly unusual creative process, in which the three musicians recorded their contributions in different studios at different times - Hugh Hopper wasn't even on the same continent as his bandmates when the album was made. While this is not entirely unprecedented in some of the more abstract realms of electronic music, it's hardly standard practice for a power trio where interplay between the musicians is a crucial factor. What makes this album truly remarkable is that it sounds like most of the tracks were recorded live in the studio, the three players striking sparks off each other in a tiny room with sweat dripping off the ceiling.

First and foremost, this album is as hard as titanium and it rocks like an earthquake. There's a lot of depth to the compositions, and there's enough musical complexity to satisfy most RIO/Avant prog fans, but it's also a joyous celebration of the raw power that is contained in electric guitar, bass and drums. All 3 musicians play with a combination of extreme skill and skull shattering heaviness, with the emphasis on ensemble performance; there are no passages where one of the players takes an extended solo while the others hold down the beat (although Hotel Romeo is entirely performed on drums, while bizarrely not really sounding like a drum solo). The drumming at times recalls the primal beats that have underpinned OOIOO's recent albums, while Hugh Hopper's bass stalks through the arrangements like a hungry predator and Nick Didkovsky's guitar work sounds like Robert Fripp would after a month of living on nothing but Jack Daniels and raw steak. There are occasional quieter moments - the picture needs both light and shade in order to succeed - but even here the impression is of a tightly coiled spring; the phrase 'laid back' clearly meant nothing during these sessions. There's also a directness and urgency in evidence that is sometimes lacking in the dry intellectualism of bands like Forever Einstein.

Anyone who likes Massacre, Ruins or Thrakkattak style King Crimson will find much to enjoy on this album, and it can be recommended to any metal heads who may fancy dipping a toe into RIO/Avant prog. This is one to PLAY LOUD and let the sound reverberate inside your chest - you know it makes sense. Recommended.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#110338)
Posted Thursday, February 01, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Hugh Hopper did a cover of DR NERVE's "Unna" for "Unsettled Scores" a Cuneiform double album where artists did cover songs of other artists tunes already recorded on that label. I have that double cd by the way and it's excellent. Anyway Nick the guitarist for DR NERVE loved Hugh's version and they got in contact with one another and so that got the ball rolling for this particular project. Add drummer John Roulot from FOREVER EINSTEIN and we have a band. By the way John and Nick played in the same band in highschool. This is a power trio with added synths, loops and computer. Lots of experimentation here as well as heaviness from this trio.The cover art was done by Bill Ellsworth.

"To Laugh Uncleanly At The Nurse" was originally done by FRED FRITH GUITAR QUARTET on his "Upbeat" album but this version is much different.This is a powerful yet intricate piece. Kind of punchy early on. I like the angular guitar before it turns experimental. Killer stuff. "Foster Wives,Trophy Hair" has such a great sounding rhythm. Nice and heavy. "Chaos, No Pasties" features Chris Murphy on guitar during the mid section. By the way Chris played in that same highschool band with Nick and John.The guitar cries out and the bass and drums create a heavy base. "Big Bombay" turns heavy quickly and the guitar starts to solo over top. "Hotel Romeo" is my least favourite as we get drums and percussive sounds throughout. "Danzig" opens with some atmosphere as the guitar comes in making noise. Fuzz bass on the chorus.

"V-Ram" opens with a beat that builds with rhythm loops. Fuzz bass and guitars help out. "Jungle Rev" is fairly minimilistic with atmosphere and experimental sounds. Great song. "Sara's Wrist Grab" was originally composed by Nick for Sara Hook Dancers but when she decided on another piece of music it was rearranged for BONE.This is one of my favs too. It's dark as it builds. Some angular guitar a minute in as chunky bass follows. Killer ! "Overlife, Part 3" features fuzz and mutant bass from Hopper.The guitar is fantastic too and often abrasive. "Overlife, Part 1" is mostly percussion and drums as the guitar comes and goes. "Green Dansette" is a catchy little number. "We'll Ask The Questions Around Here, Part 2" opens with drums and bass as the guitar starts to make some noise. "Little End Or Beginning" is slow to get going but it stays fairly minimalistic throughout.

Not as raw, powerful or amazing as their live release "The Gift Of Purpose" as this album features more experimentation, but this is a keeper.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#361809)
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | Review Permalink

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