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Sweep the Leg Johnny - Live September 9th, 2000 CD (album) cover

LIVE SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2000

Sweep the Leg Johnny

Post Rock/Math rock


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Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Sweep the Leg Johnny takes the stage at San Francisco's legendary Bottom of the Hill club; sanctuary of the uberground scene, showcase for the best that local music's rotting underbelly has to offer, and haven to the truly subterranean and seriously unwashed. On this autumn evening the Chicago foursome - tight but completely out of control - destroy their music with uncompromising fun and desperation for all to witness, taking their time, torturing it with sadistic pleasure and improvising their way out of the darkness. Steve Sostack's saxophone leads the two guitars, bass and drums with blown-out caterwauls, atonal blurts and zoned-out mantras reminding us of Coltrane at his most liberated. This is Mathrock in its primordial state from a band that was on the cutting edge of the Chicago scene and barely resembles the cold calculations normally associated with the style. No, these guys want to push you around and piss you off, and they have a great time doing it. A painful chord repeats aimlessly until the band drops like a rock on your head and never lets up till it's all over 38 minutes later: 'The Fine Wrinkles, We Have All of Them' has Sostack's rusted vocals barely discernible amid the piles of broken machinery and spontaneous sidetracks. 'Walking Home on the Emergency Bed' is a Punk group with a bit more to say and tosses thrash and freejazz together in a blender. 'The Blizzard of 99' eases a bit, opening some room for the band to expand on the complex maze of pain and anguish, and closer 'Bloodlines' is almost a song.

Fearless, ripe with odor and completely aware of their unkempt appearence, StLJ is like a very satisfying bowel movement; hot, glorious and stinking.

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Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008 | Review Permalink

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