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Gastr del Sol

Post Rock/Math rock

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Gastr del Sol The Serpentine Similar album cover
3.84 | 6 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Watery Kentucky (9:18)
2. Easy Company (1:07)
3. A Jar of Fat (2:10)
4. Ursus Arctos Wonderfills (4:45)
5. Eye Street (1:49)
6. For Soren Mueller (4:19)
7. Serpentine Orbit (:44)
8. Even the Odd Orbit (6:49)

Line-up / Musicians

- Bundy K. Brown / performer
- David Grubbs / performer
- John McEntire / percussion

Releases information

1995 CD Teenbeat #95
1995 LP Teenbeat #95
1997 CD Dexter's Cigar/Drag City #106
1997 LP Dexter's Cigar/Drag City #106

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
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GASTR DEL SOL The Serpentine Similar ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (67%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GASTR DEL SOL The Serpentine Similar reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by jamesbaldwin
4 stars Honored to write the first review of Serpentine Similar (until now there are no review and only 4 ratings). Gastr Del Sol is a rather extreme group: David Grubbs sings and plays guitar; Bundy K. Brown plays bass. In some songs, John McEntire plays percussion. Nothing else. The music of this Lp is made of electric guitar and bass. Vocals (Grubbs) and drums (John McEntire) are presents only in few songs.

The opener, "A Watery Kentucky", almost nine and a half minutes, is a slow-core ballad. Not an exciting beginning. Good sound but to much homogeneous. The drums arrives at the eighth minute: too late, it would have been useful before. The passage is difficult, arduous. You immediately understand that this is not pleasant music to listen to: it requires effort and motivation. Moreover this song is long, unlike the others. Rating 7,5.

"Easy Company", one minute, is vocals and acoustic guitar. Not finished. "A Jar of Fat", two minutes, is piano and bass, then arrive a distorted guitar. Rating 7,5/8. Here it seems John Cage style contemporanes music. It is difficult to evaluate the single song, put a rating, because they are not songs, they are sonic fragments.

"Ursus Arctos Wonderfills", almost five minutes, just guitar and bass, it's already something that resembles rock for the sustained rhythm. It recalls some passage country-western of the Shadows. Rating 7,5/8. "Eye Street", almost two minutes,It looks like jazz piano, it's sung but it ends immediately. Rating 7,5.

Music appears devoid of any descriptive, narrative or melodic content, and is reduced to pure abstract sound. From the emotional point of view this music sounds completely devoid of any hooking. This record needs a listening not as a public rock, but as a cultured contemporary music audience, or at the very latest avant-garde or jazz audience.

"For Soren Mueller", almost four and a half minutes, is a guitar and bass ballad with some heavy passage on drums very interesting. Rating 8. "Serpentine Orbit", 44 seconds, is vocals and some passage of guitar. "Even the Odd Orbit", almost seven minutes, it rotates from beginning to end around the same bass tour, with Grubbs guitar occasionally starting with some abstract riffs. Rating 7+.

Here ends an extreme record, which breaks down the rock into its sonic essence, producing sound sketches, not songs, improvisations without form, it is an operation by subtraction, aimed at making only the skeleton remain, I would say incomplete skeleton, fragments of some sound and rhythmic passages typical of rock. Extreme disk by subtraction. We are near to the silence of Cage. Minimum pleasure and emotional involvement in listening. Strong motivation to listen from beginning to end. We need to appreciate this intellectual austerity in order to please it. In my case, I appreciate the operation and I am fascinated by the overall sound but I miss the emotional part to get excited.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,58. Rating album: 8,5. Four Stars.

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