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Big Block 454 - Bratislava CD (album) cover

BRATISLAVA

Big Block 454

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Now, this is music from the wacky side of weirdness.

British trio Big Block 454 - naming themselves after a brand of car engines - seems to have read the big book of rules on how to make music, and collectively decided to disregard all written in there. Instead we get a weird and wacky mix of Krautrock, Beatles and Madness - with a punk approach and leanings towards psychedelia and spacey textures.

Regular song structures for whimsical, wacky and non-standard songs, or non-regular song structures for more regularly performed tunes. Tongue in cheek avant-garde music with a distinctive English sound to it, in what sounds like a deliberately produced low-fi sounding atmosphere.

Not for the feint of heart this one, but if you're into experimental and rather unique music this one might be your cup of tea.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#271404)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is not an easy album to review...... or even listening to.

The attitude of this album is wacky British eccentrism. It is like Monty Python, Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and other British humour sitcoms. Total wacky in other words.

How do I describe the music on this wacky eccentric album ? The songs is very varied from Beatles like pop to folk music, some light hearted singalong punk like Madness, rockabilly like Darts, ska, funk and avant-garde jazz. The vocals on the top of the music is wacky. The lyrics is very much down the British wackiness road. The instruments and the arrangements are very good and fitting for the tunes.

The quality is good throughout and this album is enjoyable. But there is no denying that this album is perhaps on the wacky side of wackiness. I have never heard anything like this album before in my life. But I still likes this album in all it's wackiness as much as I like Fawlty Towers and Monty Python. I am searching for words though to describe my opinion, but I cannot find them. I am therefore landing somewhere between three and four stars. But since this album is an excellent purchase for those who want to push their envelope to the maximum, I am landing on a four star just to trigger your consuming impulses.

4 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#288782)
Posted Thursday, July 01, 2010 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is such a great album. Very British and very accessible, with great sound and production. Sometimes poppy, sometimes folky, usually quirky and eccentric. Different styles and instruments used as well as different singing styles. This is the only album by Big Block 454 to be rated/reviewed here on PA. From what I've read, the band plan to put all their albums up on their Bandcamp page. All PAers should go to their Bandcamp page and listen to/download their latest two albums. There is a lot worse music out there you could be hearing for free.

"Motorcycle Au Pair Boy" starts off almost baroque with guitar before going into post-punk/New Wave territory. Nice melodic scat-singing at the end. "Hi, Lax Old Medic!" is some excellent dub reggae. Great production on this song. "I Was Arthur Brown's Health & Safety Advisor (On Power Lines)" has some Floyd-like delayed bass near the end. Great title. "Lush Ulan Bator" is a really good catchy pop song which you can listen to here on PA.

"Foreign Aeroplanes Upset Sleeping Tirana" has some backwards vocals in places. The chorus is very Brian Eno sounding. Good piano playing in this song. The most avant-garde part of the album is the end of "Three Sevens Clash" with the skronking saxes during a spoken word section. "Upside-Down & Dirty" has very loud '80s sounding gated drums. Muffled vocals and some post-punk guitar. Cool spacey synth sounds in the middle. Love how the drums are changed to full stereo at the end. "Ouspensky's Cellar" has cool drum machine programming and nice synth. Vocals consist of "many old men" sung in harmony with a single voice responding different lines. Like the vocal samples of some woman speaking another language other than English.

The music in RIO/Avant Prog is some of the most diverse music you will ever hear. Sometimes RIO/Avant can be more eclectic than Eclectic. Along with the more noisy and complex bands you get groups like Big Block 454. Zappa and Samla aren't the only artists listed under RIO/Avant with a sense of humour, as this album shows. This album is very accessible and sometimes catchy avant-prog. Highly recommended to those will an open mind and a sense of humour. 4 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#401336)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | Review Permalink

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