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Medeski Martin & Wood

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Medeski  Martin & Wood End of the World Party album cover
3.17 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 - Anonymous Skulls (4:24)
2 - End of the World Party (5:11)
3 - Reflector (4:11)
4 - Bloody Oil (4:42)
5 - New Planet (4:07)
6 - Mami Gato (4:10)
7 - Shine It (4:59)
8 - Curtis (4:38)
9 - Ice (4:33)
10 - Sasa (4:16)
11 - Midnight Poppies/Crooked Birds (3:44)
12 - Queen Bee (4:58)

Total Time: 53:53

Line-up / Musicians

John Medeski / keyboards
Billy Martin / drums and percussion
Chris Wood / basses

Guest appearences:
Marc Ribot / guitar
Steven Bernstein / slide trumpet
Briggan Krauss / saxophone

Releases information

Blue Note Label
Produced by John King

Thanks to Tsevir Leirbag for the addition
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Buy MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD End of the World Party Music

MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD End of the World Party ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD End of the World Party reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars It probably isn't possible for the genre-busting Brooklyn trio of Medeski, Martin & Wood to record a poor album. But this year 2004 effort is hardly the ideal place to begin your MMW collection. It presents a more upbeat, distinctly danceable variation to the eclectic MMW space- funk sound, downplaying the band's hardcore jazz background for something more (dare I say it) conventional: notice for example the ubiquitous 4/4 beats throughout.

The difference in style is subtle but immediately apparent. And while I hesitate to use the derogatory word 'overproduced', there does seem to be a surplus of synth overdubs throughout much of the album. John King (of the DJ / sampler team The Dust Brothers) was the guiding hand behind the producer's console, and he effectively smoothes away the rougher improvisational edges of the music (too effectively, in my opinion). The squeaky-clean, almost sterile sound doesn't show the trio to its best advantage, and the occasional electric lead guitar on several tracks (by Marc Ribot) is likewise a miscalculation.

With that said, the title track has to be acknowledged as maybe the grooviest thing this band ever performed, full of swinging mod-'60s rhythms and prominent Mellotron apostrophes. And the mock-samba vibe of 'Mami Gato' cuts through all the electronic clutter to reveal the energetic acoustic heart of the band still alive and beating.

It's hardly an unpleasant experience, and the performances (more than the writing, at any rate) are certainly up to par. But the eclectic variety of style heard on other MMW albums is missed.

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
3 stars End of the world dance party.

Medeski Martain & Wood are usually all about the groove. This album is the epitome of that style. Every song locks in to a groove and doesn't back down. Bass churns, drums keep time, keys solo away/provide atmosphere, all in the attempt to support a single rhythmic function. I have to agree with the reviewer above me...this album's biggest problem is the lack of diversity. The best songs on the album add a little something extra to the mix, but at the end of the day, are in the same spirit of the rest of the songs on the album. And that spirit is groovy. Other MM&W albums embrace other musical approaches, which is one of my favorite things about this band. They aren't afraid to do something different and are (seemingly) willing to try anything once. That philosophy doesn't hold as much water here, which is unfortunate.

However, this album does have some stand out tracks that make this album worth it. It begins incredibly strong with Anonymous Skulls, one of my favorite MM&W tracks. The groove is well established, but the creepy atmosphere teamed up with some more uncomfortable sounds produced makes this song stand out in the crowd. End Of The World Party is an interesting track, with some terrible vinyl scratching's added. But beyond that, the song is solid. Bloody Oil is also a top tier track that is just as enjoyable as any song from any other album. Sadly, after Bloody Oil, the album takes a turn for the monotonous, until the end. New Planet through Sasa set up the groove and keep it going. Honestly, there is little if anything to set each track apart from the next. A groove is established, the drums hold things down, something solos, a melody is repeated, the song ends. (Or something close to that anyway.) While none of the songs or playing is bad, nothing is particularly excellent. Luckily, it does pick up again at the end with Midnight Poppies/Crooked Birds, a track with excellent atmosphere that doesn't rely on a groove (at least the Midnight Poppies bit) and Queen Bee, with some nice guitar work (although, I think it could be used more effectively). Additionally, the guest work here is a nice diversifier, and the additional instruments do spruce up the songs they are in.

All in all, this is a good album, but only that. Also, there is really limited rock on this album at all. Its all groovy modern jazz. I wouldn't start my MM&W adventure here, but if you are already a fan, and especially if you prefer there groovy, jazzy side, this is probably worth it. Is this the last album I ever want to hear? No. But come the day, I'll try to slip it into the rotation. 3 stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars MEDESKI MARTIN & WOOD is a band i've heard about from time to time but until recently i'd never heard any of their tunes. This particular album is apparently one of their more accessible ones and is rated as one of their top recordings by fans on a few different sites. The surprise for me was how funky this is and how it grooves. Also there's lots of mellotron and clavinet which also surprised me. It's an all-instrumental affair.

"Anonymous Skulls" has plenty of piano and organ and the mellotron late sounds great. "End Of The World Party" is a catchy number with lots of mellotron and what sounds like vocal melodies. Keyboards, drums and bass are also outfront. "Reflector" sounds better with the guitar and darker sound. Lots of piano then the clavinet comes in kicking some ass. "Bloody Oil" opens with bass and cymbals and actually sounds like Jazz for the first time on this album. Organ joins in too. One of my favs right here. "New Planet" opens with drums and some silly sounds. Clavinet comes to the fore. This sounds better 2 minutes in when the guitar arrives. "Mami Gato" opens with a beat as bass and piano help out. This continues throughout.

"Shine It" is another catchy tune with drums and piano leading. "Curtis" sounds like more of the same except we get some outfront clavinet. "Ice" is again more of the piano, bass and drums leading the way until late when it becomes orchestral sounding. "Sasa" sounds great once it gets going. Lots of clavinet and funk. "Midnight Poppies/Crooked Birds" starts out with bass and atmosphere as the organ floats. It becomes spacey 2 minutes in then the second half of this track kicks in. "Queen Bee" sounds good with the keyboards, drums and intricate sounds. Catchy stuff. Cool track.

While I do feel that this one should be rated higher on here than it is, I have to agree with my two collaborators on the 3 stars.

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