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Massacre Killing Time album cover
3.51 | 18 ratings | 3 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1/ You Said 1:47
2/ Legs 2:13
3/ Aging With Dignity 3:18
4/ Subway Heart 2:59
5/ Killing Time 3:07
6a/ Corridor 6b/ Lost Causes 6c/ Not The Person We Knew 9.15
7/ Know 2:16
8/ Bones 1:48
9/ Tourism 4:34
10/ Surfing 1:19
11/ As Is 8:49
12/ After 5:29
13/ Gate 2:52
14/ Conversations With White Arc 1:14
15/ Carrying 1:44
16/ Bait 1:59
17/ Third Street 4:21
18/ 3 O'Clock, June 21st, Get Down There And Do It 1:34
19/ F.B.I. 3:10 (1:16)

Total playing time 63.14


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Fred Frith: Burns Black Bison guitar, voice, Casio, radio;
Bill Laswell: 4 and 6 string basses, pocket trumpet;
Fred Maher: drums, percussion.

Releases information

1981 - Celluloid (France), CEL 6597 (LP)
1982 - Recommended Records Japan (Japan), RRJ001 (07836-01) (LP)
1983 - Celluloid (Netherlands), CELD 5003 (CT)
1989 (?) - Celluloid (USA), CELD5003 (CD) 1989 - Celluloid (France), CELCD 5003 (CD) 1992 - J!MCO Records (Japan), JICK-89059 (CD)
1993 - RecRec Music (Switzerland), ReCDec 906 (CD)
1998 - Charly (Germany), CDGR 249 (CD)
2005 - Fred Records/ReR Megacorp (UK), ReR/FRO10 (CD)
Note: (1,7,14-16,18) are only available on the 1993 and 2005 pressings; (17, 19) is only available on the 2005 pressing.

Thanks to syzygy for the addition
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Killing TimeKilling Time
Rer 2006
Audio CD$11.76
$40.05 (used)
Killing Time by MassacreKilling Time by Massacre
Charly UK
Audio CD$184.00
Killing Time by RerKilling Time by Rer
Audio CD$47.19

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MASSACRE Killing Time ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MASSACRE Killing Time reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Fred Frith's move to the USA at the end of the 1970s was the start of an incredibly productive phase of his career; between 1979 and 1982 he wrote 2 albums for Art Bears, 2 solo albums, wrote and recorded with Aqsak Maboul and Henry Kaiser, appeared as a guest on albums by the Muffins, the Residents, Lindsay Cooper, Material and Etron Fou Leloublan and also found time to create the legendary avant prog power trio Massacre. During his time in New York he had been impressed with the thriving downtown music scene (which had also invigorated Brian Eno and Robert Fripp) and joined forces with two of the hottest musicians around, Bill Laswell and Fred Maher.

Massacre was never simply 'Fred Frith plus rhythm section' but a genuine meeting of equals. Laswell and Maher had been around the new wave/no wave scene and were as influenced by funk and dub reggae as they were by rock music, and they had also both played with Daevid Allen in New York Gong. The collision of these styles with Frith's RIO approach yielded musical results that sound as fresh today as they did over 25 years ago. The power trio line up, stripped down sound and stop-start arrangements are all deployed to great effect, with the three musicians evenly balanced in the mix. The playing is incredibly tight throughout, with some of the pieces sounding carefully composed and others sounding more improvised. Fred Frith uses a world war 2 fighter pilot's throat mike to add some bizarre and slighlty disturbing vocal sounds here and there, and there are a couple of sound collages punctuating the album, but for the most part there is little studio trickery in evidence. Highlights include the RIO/funk/punk masterpiece Legs and the lengthy Corridor/Lost Causes/Not The Person We Knew, where each section features one of the three musicians taking the lead. The CD reissue contains the entire vinyl release plus numerous live recordings which almost double the original playing time, but the sound quality is excellent throughout and the extra tracks add to the power of the original.

This was a hugely influential album, and echoes of it can be heard today in bands like Ruins, Korekyojin and Forever Einstein. It's also an album to treasure for Fred Frith's brilliant guitar work, which is not always this prominently featured. It's an essential document of RIO colliding with post punk noise, with extremely enjoyable results - as it says on the label: PLAY IT LOUD! Highly recommended.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

At the very end of Aksak Maboul, Fred Frith (and his Henry Cow cohort Chris Cutler) will retain their Belgian connections and start the Honeymoon Killers, but in the meantime, the guitarist will start Massacre with the then-new bass wizard Bill Laswell and rather unknown drummer Maher for a one shot album recorded after on their short tour supporting their mentor. This Massacre project was a bit the result of a demand of Blegvad for a support group. Whether this was effectively a one-shot from the start or it turned out to be so for almost two decades remains a mystery to this writer, but the fact is that Massacre's only album, Killing Time was alone in the store's stocks for quite a while.

Ultra technical is the first word that comes to mind when listening to Massacre, along with dissonant, un-melodic, overly complex, self-centered and many more. Indeed these words do not sound that positive, but they must be also accompanied with a bunch of others such as stunning, groundbreaking, virtuoso, adventurous, bold etc.. Of course, Killing Time is not for beginners or even novices, but rather for confirmed progheads that know they will be able to digest more or less quickly. This almost completely instrumental (just a few vocalizing) guitar trio's album is full of fairly short tracks (except for As Is) outlining their tightness as a group, which may appear a little strange at first, but very few moments are improvised, the vast majority being written. Contrarily to what could be expected from an instrumental trio, there are no one-man solos and very few accompanied solos and when there are, they generally come from Cutler and remain short and avoid any kind of indulgence or complacency. Even at their most accessible (the title track for example), Massacre remains quite difficult for those not used to dissonance and constantly changing rhythms.

Although largely forgotten nowadays, Massacre's first album's historical importance might still not be that obvious, but can we imagine all these Us techno-prog projects with Bozzio , Levin, Sheridan and whoever else indulged, without Killing Time's existence. I dare think not. Not that I would call this album all that essential, but quite worthy still.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is MASSACRE's debut released in 1981. We get Fred Frith on guitar, Bill Laswell on bass and Fred Maher on drums. Laswell and Maher were part of Daevid Allen's New York GONG which had just broken up. This trio would also be part of MATERIAL's debut album released the same year as this record, as well as being part of Frith's solo album "Speechless". That New York atttude is here in spades as we get a mostly stripped down sound with a punk flavour. I've read several reviewers who feel this is bordering on Math Rock at times as we get plenty of complex compositions. There are 19 tracks worth over 63 plus minutes.

"You Said" is experimental as sounds pulse and squeek. Sampled spoken words follow as the pulse stops. "Legs" has uptempo guitar and an almost Reggae-like rhythm. Catchy stuff. "Aging With Dignity" is one of those Math-Rock type tracks full of complexities. "Subway Heart" is noisy with lots going on then it slows down some before a minute. Impressive. "Killing Time" is more of the same really. Catchy stuff though. "Corridor/ Lost Causes/ Not The Person We Knew" is experimental with pounding drums to start. I like when it settles in with bass as the guitar continues to scream. A change after 2 minutes as it settles back quite a bit but the guitar continues to challenge. Man Frith can play. Love the bass playing of Laswell too. It's picking up after 4 minutes then it settles with intricate sounds this time. Love the drumming 7 minutes in and the guitar is angular. "Know" is a top three as we get a haunting atmosphere with random drum patterns. "Bones" is catchy with intricate and complex sounds. "Tourism" is stripped down with those Math-Rock complexities. Angular guitar later followed by drums.

"Surfing" puts the focus on the rhythm and there's some pocket trumpet from Laswell. "As Is" is experimental as sounds come and go with no melody. The drums start to dominate 4 minutes in but it's also fairly repetitive here. "After" is a top three of mine. I really like the sound of this one as the guitar makes plenty of noise and it's quite innovative as the bass and drums impress. "Gate" is different, even the drums sound like they are from an island. "Conversations With White Arc" is sparse and stripped down. "Carrying" is just outside of my top three with those deep bass and drum sounds with the innovative guitar expressions. "Brit" features angular guitar and percussion sounds along with a tambourine. "Third Street" is my final top three. It's dark, sparse and experimental until before 2 minutes when the tempo picks up. I like this one. "3 O'Clock, June 21st, Get Down There And Do It" has sampled background words and a dark soundscape of sounds that come and go. "FBI" is catchy with so much going on right before it ends.

My avant friends will be disappointed with the 3 star rating but I just have trouble enjoying this album despite being impressed with all three guys. And yes this is a really good album to get just to hear Frith's excellent guitar work. I'm just not big on this style.

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