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5UU'S

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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5uu's biography
Dave Kerman founded his own band, the 5UU's, in 1984. Inspired by the European "Rock In Opposition" (RIO) movement's uncompromising stance, and devoted to a concept of song-oriented music with emphasis on short pieces, lyrics, and melodies, the 5UU's created a sound that was a distinctly American version of R.I.O.-inspired rock. Their music is a constantly changing stream of ideas, very complex, with irregular time sigs and liberal use of disonnance within their melodic framework. "Hunger's Teeth" is probably the best place to start for a symphonic prog fan trying to get into RIO. This is a group in the tradition of Henry COW, UNIVERS ZERO and U TOTEM. RIO fans will enjoy this music...!

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Crisis in ClayCrisis in Clay
Recommended Records 1997
Audio CD$10.65
$7.75 (used)
Point of ViewsPoint of Views
Cuneiform 1996
Audio CD$35.96
$8.38 (used)
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5UU'S discography


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5UU'S top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.88 | 12 ratings
Bel Marduk & Tiamat
1984
3.72 | 11 ratings
Elements
1986
4.09 | 60 ratings
Hunger's Teeth
1994
3.65 | 42 ratings
Crisis In Clay
1997
3.91 | 25 ratings
Regarding Purgatories
2000
4.20 | 27 ratings
Abandonship
2002

5UU'S Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5UU'S Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5UU'S Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 15 ratings
Point of Views
1996

5UU'S Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.09 | 2 ratings
Bar Code
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
Tel Aviv Construction Events 1-3
2004

5UU'S Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Abandonship by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.20 | 27 ratings

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Abandonship
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by ShW1

4 stars Florentine is hell-bent

6th album to 5uu's and this time 5uu's is mainly Dave Kerman all by himself, with almost no other players. This album recorded here in Tel Aviv, Israel, when Dave Kerman, the highly acclaimed avant-rock drummer-composer leaved in Israel for a couple of years. 'Tel Aviv' songs are 'Penguins on Dizengoff' and 'Hill of spring' (translation from 'Tel Aviv'). 'Penguins on Dizengoff' deal with the ridiculous Penguins statues that placed all around Dizengoff Street back in 2000. Indeed, the contradiction between the two could not be greater. North Pole Penguins could not survive in a hot, humidity summer day in Tel Aviv .Dave's humor and irony are here, in the nice tune of this not-long instrumental piece, featuring effects of trickling water in the middle section.

'Hill of spring' is a song that evolves from quite to soaring mood, with moving lyrics about a man who 'lost' in Tel Aviv. It reminds me some Israeli songs about Tel Aviv that written by some song writers and poetess. In fact, for me, Dave Kerman is a true lyricist and a song- writer, let alone an innovative drummer and pushing-the-boundaries avant-gardist. The line 'Florentine is hell-bent' from that song perhaps deals with Florentine street, that became a nice coffee-shops and galleries street, yet the surrounding environment has still been very industrial, with a lot of carpenter houses and welding shops.

As mentioned above, Dave is the almost-only instrumentalist in this album. The album sound is ruled by his very energetic drums, rhythms and percussion, (Also played by Aviv Barak, on 'Thoroughly modern Attila'). Most of the complicated and entangled tunes are done by Keyboards, with many different sounds and effects. Bass and electric guitars could be heard from time to time, but not on a regular basis as in a complete rock band. Various effects are all throughout, mainly street noises. Tel Aviv streets come alive in this album with street vendors voices, honking and car sirens. The Effects, samples, recordings, sound and production made by Udi Koomran, who did a great job, in a small, ordinary department in Tel Aviv. Well it seems to be that there is no need in picturesque farms in south of France in order to create valuable products (Heh Heh). In fact this album is a true cooperation between Dave and Udi right from the start, and one can feel it while listening.

Deborah Perry helped with her wonderful vocals, from Oregon, United States. Her vocals are always a pleasure for me, but for this time the tunes range seems to be very low for a female voice, even on the lower side, what make a less contribution for clarity and crystallite at some part of the already-complicated tunes. Indeed the vocals sound very 'bottomed' some times. Nevertheless, it's still a pleasure to listen to Deborah's singing, albeit this restriction.

Some more 'track information': from the longer tracks, my favorite is the closer 'Belly-Up': A very atmospheric track, without losing the edge. It features slow-down and fasten spoken vocals. It ends with acoustic guitars and interesting sounds and harmonies. And in Dave's usual manner, a little sting at the end. Another favorite of mine is the opener (track 2), 'Couple number 3 is a solo'. This song is about a lonely woman who dancing her life out, with a lot of rhythms, dance samples like Tango, trumpets blast, a great tap-dancing that performed live on the studio/department by Zahi Patish, And a pinch of Hebrew ('Mispar shalosh' means 'number 3').

In short, a highly recommended album that proves that a phenomenon like Dave can do it all by himself, in a small, inconvenient and restless country, certainly not the first place you would think of as a candidate for recording an edgy avant rock album. But don't get me wrong, I'm not against Dave doing some real band recordings, and in fact I'm willing for another album, it's been 13 years already.

By this review, I some kind of 'abandon' myself. I've decided on a 'relative retirement' from writing reviews, out of many reasons. I intend to finish my James Grigsby duties (U totem, Motor totemist guild), and maybe write some more very few reviews, and a bit of ratings. But it will take a long time, and there won't be much more than that. Goodbye than.

* More information about this album, from Dave himself, and nice pictures from Udi, at Udi's blog

udi-koomran.blogspot.co.il

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 Hunger's Teeth by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.09 | 60 ratings

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Hunger's Teeth
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars This band was originally formed in the mid-1980s by one Dave Kerman, a drummer/composer who is well known in RIO circles. 5uu's are an American answer to the European Rock-In-Opposition movement of the late 1970s. Apparently the band name came from some graffiti by some street gang in Los Angeles. While inspired by RIO, there is also a strong Zappa influence as well. Kerman wrote most of the music on this album, which appears to have a horse theme throughout. This is the bands third album, with an 8 year gap since the last album. Before this album members of 5uu's joined members of Motor Totemist Guild to form the group U-Totem.

The band here is basically a three-piece with others guesting on the album (such as Thinking Plague vocalist Suzanne Lewis and electronic experimenter Thomas Dimuzio). But it is new member Bob Drake, a founding member of Thinking Plague, that turns Hunger's Teeth into something else. He did a lot of engineering work before joining 5uu's and his input is essential to the way the album sounds. Did I mention he sometimes sings like Jon Anderson and sometimes plays bass (a Rickenbacker) like Chris Squire? Yes...he does. This album almost sounds like Yes from an alternate universe where up is down, black is white and sex prevents pregnancy. A great album for a avant-prog newbie to start with in this sub-genre.

The music here sounds big for just a trio (Sanjay Kumar being the third member), but I have seen YouTube clips from this era where the live renditions of these songs don't sound very different to the studio versions. The opener and standout track is "Well...Not Chickensh*t" which is accessible yet complex as hell. The lyrics focus on employer's apathy towards their employees. Love the bass tone after 2 minutes, very aggressive sounding. Later it gets more phased sounding followed by a great atonal guitar solo. This track is full of great melodies on a variety of instruments. The violin in particular sounds great here. "Roan" is short but sweet. The galloping horses and the horn-like sounds on synth and violin at the beginning sound majestic. Features a great melodic guitar solo. This track is so perfect it doesn't need to be any longer.

"Mangate" features only Thomas Dimuzio who you hear throughout the album. This is an electronic/tape manipulated piece. Although he is the only performer here, it sounds like a woman's voice from some contemporary pop/R&B song is being manipulated. Banjo and altered vocals open "Geronimo." Basically the music rarely stays in one place. Repeated notes on keyboard brings the music into more chamber rock territory. The banjo part comes back but now played on harpsichord(?) backed by some truly spacey synth sounds. "Glue" has an avant-boogie-rock feel with some really weird sounding manipulated keyboard sounds.

"Opportunity Bangs" is the most Yes sounding song on here but its still very avant-rock oriented. Even features a Wakeman-style organ solo(!). This track changes quite a bit, going through different parts. Features a great minimalistic and atonal guitar solo. "The Shears" is an a cappella barber shop quartet ditty. Some sound effects in the background. This reminds me of the "King Crimson Barber Shop" track recorded during the sessions for Crimson's Three Of A Perfect Pair album. "Truth, Justice, And The American Way" starts out moody and cinematic sounding followed by very avant-garde piano playing.

Later on you hear a vaguely hip-hop style drumbeat go back and forth between the left and right channels as Drake does the vocals in an almost cheerleader chant sort of way. Drake engineered an Ice Cube album before recording this...maybe some influence rubbed off on Bob? "Equus" features Suzanne on lead vocals. Her words are in sync with a keyboard. After some avant-rock goes into a steady groove while some sounds are heard over top of it. The vocal part is reprised at the end. "Traveler Waits For No One" also features Suzanne on lead vocals. The music here at first is the most upbeat on the album; almost sounds like '70s Yes mixed with '80s New Wave.

Then it goes into some darker sounding, Zappa inspired avant-rock. Gets more intense and rockin' as it goes along. The track just sort of ends abruptly. This is one of the greatest prog albums from the 1990s that you are likely to ever hear. The music has a great balance between dissonance and melody. The sound and production (and playing) is nearly flawless. Recommended to the Yes fan who feels a little adventurous or any avant-prog fan not already familiar with this group. Great '90s prog. I can't quite give this 'masterpiece' status but I will give it a 4.5 rounded down to a very strong 4 stars.

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 Hunger's Teeth by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.09 | 60 ratings

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Hunger's Teeth
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars A good start for beginners!

This one is the only album i'm familiar with well from 5uu's , i think it's the first proper RIO album i heard by any band , and it is one of the easiest albums in this genre to get started with. still if you are not a beginner in avant /rio music and you are not familiar with it , you are missing on a lot. the first time i heard it i didn't know exactly what to make of this , it doesn't have that warm sound of 70's prog , but still doesn't have any cheesy sounds of modern prog . but after a couple of listens it was revealed and i understood how progy it really is , what a special , exciting new look on music it is. as weird and unconventional as it may sound sometimes , in the same time it is really a normal prog rock album. music is carefully done , a lot of layers are used and so many details are inside incorporating guitar distorted lines , strings , vocals and more. it's not in your face so it will take a few spins to fully notice . but it's not all the time like that , you can have simpler parts too. music is really varied and doesn't feel like going the same road all the time. synths are changing , guitars are used in a very good taste , some string instruments also used top that with a great deep bass. what a wonderful sound!!

Getting started quite weird , the first 3 minutes on the album takes you on a great ride letting you inside the bands journey , totally progressive music with great breaks and a change of sound which is pretty neat , check out that bass coming in at 2:08 and changing the music with that great driving sound , violins are used too , giving it a very weird symphonic touch , some "normal" like parts with vocals fused with disturbing atmosphere , this track has it all and pretty much single handedly defines what it's all about.

What i also like is the fact that the music is juggling between dissonant and more melodic parts in the same song and some times few times in the same song. drums by mr. kerman is really unconventional to say the least and he really flows with the music having some weird signature times and have a lot of room to develop even when songs are constantly changing and are not long at all. he is a real master and should be known widely.

Highlights for me are : well...not chicke[&*!#] , roan, opportunity bangs , but of course everything is great , i also like " the shears" which is a weird a cappella with someone taking a hair cut in the back...funny stuff.

I struggled my self with the rating between 4 or 5 stars , but after hearing it again and writing my review , i'll give it a 4.5 stars rounded up because of their success bringing the RIO genre to the front and making it accessible and so much fun.

In conclusion the music presented is totally progressive , innovative , rocks , weird , experimental and professional. you get the feeling that it is like a big puzzle with all kinds of different shape parts and different colours which can not be put together , but after you listen carefuly and see the band build that puzzle , you can watch the big picture and realize what it is. it's a picture you won't see every day and it's beautiful!!

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 Bel Marduk & Tiamat by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.88 | 12 ratings

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Bel Marduk & Tiamat
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by penguindf12
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The first 5uu's album - very interesting indeed. You can feel 80's New Wave here, old-school progressive rock, and a little of god-knows-what (perhaps Henry Cow?) -- it's all very colorful. You can tell that whoever made this was young, and it's all the better for it.

The introductory track is beyond cheesy. Some mystical cymbals, reverse-fed vocals intoning words from a bad fantasy novel -- lead to some wonderful demo-tape synths and drum machines playing additive rhythms in shifting time signature. I love it.

"The Scale of Life" lopes through time signature changes every bar - and it's hella catchy! Curt Wilson never sounded better. The drums are incredibly exuberant - as if young Dave Kerman couldn't help but beat the living crap out of everything nearby.

"Compromisation" is a little lame. The lyrics are about the Porcupine's Dilemma, a topic viewers of Neon Genesis Evangelion should be familiar with... but enough about my nerdy hobbies -- this track has some cool gooshy accordion sounds and a nifty 9/4 bass pedal groove, but that's about it.

"Loyalty to Creation" starts nowhere and goes nowhere, fast. Gotta love that enthusiasm though! This album RUNS on enthusiasm, something sorely missed on recent Kerman releases, which are horribly dead by comparison...

"Ancient Internationalism" keeps a constant 12/4 tom groove throughout, which gets real obnoxious real quick. Love those unison synths, though. Modern music needs more synths.

"The Fear of Life" returns to the shifting meters of the early tracks - a welcome return. The durations and pitches were determined via chance -- the vocals were improvised on the spot. And it sounds GREAT.

"Contemporary Global Friction" is a track that was sadly deleted from the final cut in the "Point of Views" compilation. It opens with sounds like a bowling alley in the background; soon, vocals produced by The Residents appear (literally - Kerman phoned them for help!) -- these give way to an excellent percussion workout in the vein of Stravinsky. The finale is utterly bizarre - slowed down drums and shouted phonemes.

"Sporting" brings us back to stadium-prog land -- theatrical guitars, 15/8-to-the-floor drums... but only two melodic ideas. Ugh.

"Magic, Dogma, & Faith" is wonderful; we see the demo theme from the introduction fully realized; it comes together quite nicely.

A great, energetic debut album with plenty of excited drums. Definitely recommended!

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 Abandonship by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.20 | 27 ratings

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Abandonship
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've been aware of Dave Kerman for some time, initially through his time as the drummer with Present and his involvement in Aranis' 2010 release, Roqueforte. I had been curious about this band for a while, and upon finding out that it was Dave Kerman who was responsible for almost everything on this album, my curiosity lead me to finally acquiring it.

Deborah Perry (from Thinking Plague, who I have not yet had the pleasure of exploring) does the vocals on this album, and the sound is by Udi Koomran. Other than a few guests, Dave does everything else himself here. Which is amazing because there is not a dud track on this album - everything is great!

The sound is generally agressive. The weirdness one expects from a lot of avant-prog, in terms of note selection and rhtyhms, are here. But you can tell that these tracks are composed by a drummer, for there are great rhythmic bases to all of them that really give the layers of music on top a lot of freedom and expression. Deborah's vocals are odd yet beautiful, and really fit well with the music.

There are definitely a few brilliant tracks on this album that really make it stand out. I should clarify - every track on this album is great, but there are a few that go beyond that, that stand to me as testaments to the validity of this genre of music as a rock form.

There is the simple "Doubt Be Met", which does not include as much of the density of some of the other tracks, instead relying on organ and Deborah's vocals to create a great but short piece. "Noah's Flame" must be mentioned, and is in my eyes the stand out track, featuring the best moments both instrumental and vocally, as well as being oddly catchy and aggressive. Couple #3 is a Solo is just odd, but in a very cool way, and perfectly composed.

If you are able to get your hands on this album, do so - you will not regret it.

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 Abandonship by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.20 | 27 ratings

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Abandonship
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Last to time 5UU's studio album, in fact it's more Dave Kerman solo album. He plays all other instruments,beside of usual to him drums.The only other artist participated on the recording is Thinking Plague singer Deborah Perry.

Album was recorded in Tel Aviv,Israel, and is unusually complex multi layered mix of drums,keys,loops and vocals. Very often one-man albums are very flat, even if contain interesting musical material. This album happily isn't! Thunder-like brutal drumming, many structure and rhythm changes, excellently mixed overlaps - this album sounds absolutely as it was recorded by real band.

Music is strongly influenced by RIO and avant both, and successfully balances on the border between too "out" and "still attractive". Not easy listening, but really interesting one. More release for fans of such kind of music though.

My rating is 4 - one between few successful one-man albums released ever!

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 Abandonship by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.20 | 27 ratings

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Abandonship
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars My favourite 5UU'S album right here. This was recorded in Tel Aviv, Isreal at Udi's house.That's right Udi Koomran works his magic on here much like he did on the amazing AHVAK album and many others over the years. Interesting that with this album and the AHVAK record Udi is listed as part of the band even though he doesn't play an instrument on either one. Well if you knew how important this guy was to the sound on both recordings you would understand why. He's amazing ! His work can be heard throughout this album in the samples and sounds. Like the last album this is really a Dave Kerman solo album under the 5UU'S moniker. Deborah Perry (THINKING PLAGUE) is back on vocals along with some other guests including PRESENT's own Roger Trigaux who plays the part of a dictator on the third track. He seems to be a natural (haha).

"Yordei Hasira #2" opens with strange sounds and throughout really.Voices come and go. "Couple #3" has Deborah on vocals with all kinds of intricate sounds coming and going. Angular guitar before 2 minutes then it settles with spoken vocals. Drums and guitar end it. Nice. "Thoroughly Modern Attila" is probably my all time favourite 5UU'S track. It's very much in the UNIVERS ZERO / PRESENT realm. An ominous beat with other sounds to start. It's dark. Some crazy outbursts of sound follow. This is heavy and dark. Amazing ! Some insane spoken spoken words from Roger before 4 minutes. A calm follows and it sounds very cool. It's building 6 1/2 minutes in, this really reminds me of PRESENT and UNIVERS ZERO. Silence after 7 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in a minute later. "Penguins On Dizengoff" opens with a beat followed by piano. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. It turns dark and eerie after 2 minutes. It picks up before 5 minutes but not for long.

"Suits" has these deep bass sounds and female vocals. It turns dark after 1 1/2 minutes. Bob Drake's version of "Ringing In The New Year" can be heard on "Crisis In Clay".This one opens with someone talking with sounds playing in the background. "Noah's Flame" sounds great when it kicks in after a minute. Female vocals too. A change 4 minutes in. Spoken vocals 5 1/2 minutes in. A heavy beat and angular guitar after 6 minutes.The tempo picks up 7 1/2 minutes in as Kerman pounds away until it ends. "Hill Of Spring" has this light music with spoken female vocals. Both the music and Deborah's vocals turn demented. Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in after the lunacy ends. "Doubt Be Met" is solemn with female vocals. "Belly- Up" kicks in before a minute. Check out Kerman on the kit. A calm before 2 minutes. It's dark as spoken words arrive. I like the calm after 7 minutes to the end.Deborah ends it with the words "Okay cut" and the music and album stops. I'm still waiting for Deborah to say "Action" so we can get a new 5UU'S album.

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 Regarding Purgatories by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.91 | 25 ratings

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Regarding Purgatories
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's a reason this is called Dave Kerman & 5UU'S now instead of just 5UU'S. Bob Drake the vocalist / bass player / producer has left leaving Dave to take the reins once again. Kerman is a multi-instrumentalist, and he pretty much does it all here including composing all the music and lyrics. He does have some guests helping out though including Deborah Perry (THINKING PLAGUE) on vocals, Keith Macksoud (PRESENT) on bass, Sanjay Kumar (5 UU's, U-TOTEM) on keyboards and there are others helping out as well. For me this is an upgrade over the previous two albums. Just my taste in music I suppose, but I really like this album.

"Meteora" opens with atmosphere and strange sounds early on. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes with drums and experimental guitar (I think). Voices fade in and out before 4 1/2 minutes. Angular guitar 5 1/2 minutes in. A bell and strange sounds including voices end it. "Pinwheel" opens with drums and other sounds as piano joins in. Guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. Great sound ! It settles with female vocals and piano before 2 1/2 minutes. It then kicks back in a minute later. A haunting calm before 5 minutes to end it. "Below And Beyond" picks up before a minute. It's kind of creepy here. Female vocals before 1 1/2 minutes with dark piano lines. It's building briefly 3 1/2 minutes in. "To Fall On Deaf Ears (Part One)" hits the ground running. It stops as a buzzer goes off. This sequence happens again then these distorted vocals arrive. It's intense 2 minutes in and check out the drumming ! It settles back 3 1/2 minutes in then the vocals return. "Half-Akin To Gladsome" is a short piano and female vocal piece. "Drachma" is more powerful with vocals. High pitched sounds around 1 1/2 minutes. It's haunting after 3 minutes including the vocal melodies.

"First Person Jocular" is dissonant then it settles as the vocals arrive. They stop as pulsating sounds take over. Guitar 2 minutes in then these whispered vocals also take part. It's experimental late. "String Of Hey- Days" has these mono-toned vocals until it changes after a minute.Vocals come and go. "Day 29" has a heavy beat with an eerie background as vocals and piano come and go. "Gordion Knot" sounds great when it kicks in before a minute. Vocals join in. "Stand On Ceremony" has these avant vocals, drums and overall sound. That changes before a minute. "To Fall On Deaf Ears (Part Two)" eventually pulses wth percussion and dark vocal expressions.Vocals after 3 1/2 minutes with piano. A calm with piano 7 minutes in then vocals and a fuller sound arrive a minute later. Lots of percussion too.

Just an excellent Rio / Avant album and proof that Dave Kerman is from another planet.

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 Hunger's Teeth by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.09 | 60 ratings

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Hunger's Teeth
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I like this more than the follow-up "Crisis In Clay". "Hunger's Teeth" is easier to digest, although make no mistake this is complex and innovative. Kumar, Kerman and Drake (sounds like a Lawyer firm doesn't it ?) make up the band here with several guests helping out including James Grigsby.

"Well...Not Chicken[&*!#]" is a fantastic opening number. It opens with keyboards as vocals and other sounds join in. Check out the vocals yelling in the background. Huge bass comes in briefly. Love how this sounds after 1 1/2 minutes. More chunky bass after 2 minutes with some steller drum work as well. I really like the dissonant guitar sounds that join in too. Killer track. "Roan" opens with what sounds like wind chimes while in the background it sounds like a volcano is going to erupt. Vocals come in then it kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes. Some excellent guitar here then it settles with vocals. "Mangate" is basically Thomas DiMuzio making electric and computer generated sounds for 3 minutes. Interesting. "Geronimo" features vocals and other sounds then it kicks in before a minute. Great sound. It settles again quickly as contrasts continue. It turns dark before 3 minutes. Powerful sound 4 1/2 minutes in. Love the bass and drums here.

"Glue" is dark with drums and bass out front. The vocals and the guitar are pretty twisted. "Opportunity Bangs" opens with a full sound with vocals. It picks up a minute in. Organ too. Killer sound here. It settles then picks back up. It ends in a haunting manner. "The Shears" is a funny tune about people who cut hair for a living. You can hear the door opening and the sound of scissors as vocals join in. "Bachelor Needle" has a strange intro then it kicks in. Vocals are processed with piano helping out. The tempo then picks up with normal vocals. "Truth, Justice, And The American Way" is dark with vocals, piano and a heavy pulsating sound. Great sound before 4 minutes then the vocals return. Amazing tune. So much going on late to end it. "Equus" features vocals, piano and eerie sounds early. It changes a minute in. Nice bass and drum work before 2 1/2 minutes. Organ follows then guitar. Female vocals after 4 minutes. "Traveler Waits For No One" is uptempo with female vocals. Some huge bass after 3 minutes.

A solid 4 star album maybe even 4.5 stars.

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 Bel Marduk & Tiamat by 5UU'S album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.88 | 12 ratings

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Bel Marduk & Tiamat
5uu's RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by ShW1

2 stars First album for the 5uu's entity that more of a band it's a title name for Dave Kerman, the well- known RIO drummer and composer, and his various works. The entire album, besides of its RIOistic 'quirkiness', is heavily rooted in the early 80's. The sound might unfortunately categorized by many of us, particular those who where not around in that decade as more or less matures, as 'creepy', 'cheesy' and all sort of non complement descriptions. The drums sounds mechanical, with some 80's drum machines here and there, and the synth are not far from that. But the songs are different, and got their own uniqueness and delight. The first seeds of DK creation are here. My fave here is 'Compromisation', with its lovely but quirky avant melody, and original lyrics from DK, accompanied by waaay too-loud, mechanical drums, and frequent use of loud cymbals crashes, In a flavor that I can't make a decision whether it belong to the early 80's tendencies, or to DK personal drumming style, which I find too loud and exaggerate from time to time.

Another track which is very amusing one, is 'Sporting', an instrumental piece with much more liveness and acoustic sound. But I suggest you do not make your sport with this track in the background, since you'll probably break your leg or something due to the odd time signatures, and the complex rhythms of this track.

Overall there are just 8 short songs here, about 20 minutes total. Since I listen to this album from the two-LPs-in-one-disk addition, I suspect that the original hard-to-find LP featured some more tracks, probably experimentals. (If someone knows something about the original LP, please let me know). My recommendation to this album goes for fans only, and those who are interested in 5uu's as well as the American RIO movement, from its very first days. The compilation also holds the excellent 'Elements' album, with the "Motor totemist guild", and another 4 fine tracks from the early days, and it's a real good compilation. The entire album is truly just for fans.

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