Header

MASSACRE

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Massacre picture
Massacre biography
According to the sleeve notes of their debut album, Massacre's first concert took place on Valentine's Day in 1980 as support act at a Peter Blegvad concert, and their final show was in Los Angeles in June 1981. For a band which existed for less than 18 months and only released one album (by the original incarnation), Massacre has had an uncommonly long afterlife.

When Fred Frith formed the avant prog power trio he chose to work with two of the New York downtown scene's hottest musicians, Bill Laswell (bass) and Fred Maher (drums). The pair were both members of Material and had played together on Daevid Allen's New York Gong project, and between them would play with or produce a staggering variety of musicians. Right from the outset Massacre was much more than Fred Frith plus rhythm section - Frith was looking for something that would reflect the music heard in New York's clubs, and Maher and Laswell were as steeped in funk and dub reggae as they were in experimental jazz and avant rock. Massacre was a meeting of equals with a unique chemistry. Most of their pieces were short, some were tightly composed, some were improvised and it wasn't always obvious which was which. Their debut album had a message: PLAY LOUD. Killing Time attracted rave reviews, and was reissued several times with extra tracks. Massacre also contributed to side 2 of Fred Frith's Speechless album, and numerous bootlegs of their incendiary concerts appeared. There were one or two semi-reunions, and then in 1998 Frith and Laswell started playing with Charles Hayward and Massacre was reborn. A studio album came out in 1998, Funny Valentine, and the band also backed vocalist Percy Howard on the excellent Meridiem album at about the same time. In 2001 they played at Robert Wyatt's Meltdown festival in London and the live set Meltdown was released shortly afterwards.

All 3 of Massacre's official albums are excellent, but it's their 1980's debut which remains their strongest. The later releases feature mostly longer pieces with a more jazzy structure, still extremely strong but somehow lacking the visceral power of the original line up.





Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
A superlative avant-prog power trio featuring some of the most important musicians in the RIO/avant prog genre.



Discography:
Killing Time (1981)
Funny Valentine (1998)
Meltdown (2001)

MASSACRE MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

MASSACRE forum topics / tours, shows & news


MASSACRE forum topics Create a topic now
MASSACRE tours, shows & news Post an entries now

MASSACRE Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to MASSACRE

Buy MASSACRE Music


Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Malevolent Creation - Doomsday X, Monstrosity, Suffocation, Massacre, Vader USD $6.99 [0 bids]
2h 47m
LAAZ ROCKIT Know your enemy CD + DVD bonus reedition massacre records DELUXE USD $10.99 [2 bids]
2h 48m
LAAZ ROCKIT Annihilation principle CD + DVD reedition massacre records DELUXE USD $10.99 [1 bids]
2h 48m
Cocktail Slippers - Saint Valentines Day Massacre Bonus Tracks LP Vinyl Record USD $23.09 Buy It Now 2h 54m
MASSACRE - KILLING TIME [BONUS TRACKS] - NEW CD USD $14.10 Buy It Now 3h 24m
My Darkest Hate * At War * CD + BONUS PAL DVD * Death Metal * Massacre * 2004 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4h 10m
@ CD Dreamscape - 5th Season GERMAN PROG METAL SS / MASSACRE 2007 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4h 26m
Vise Massacre - Expendable Humans - Brand New Sealed 12" Vinyl !!!!!! USD $22.25 Buy It Now 4h 46m
Duran Duran : Duran Durans Red Carpet Massacre CD (2007) USD $3.73 Buy It Now 5h 15m
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE Revelation DOUBLE LP 13 Track Double Blue Vinyl Album I USD $39.65 Buy It Now 5h 23m
@ CD Catamenia - Morning Crimson / MASSACRE RECORDS 1999 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 5m
JOE BATAAN - SAINT LATIN'S DAY MASSACRE CD rare Fania USD $37.55 Buy It Now 6h 20m
BLACK LIGHT THEATRE 1402 Valentines Massacre 7" Numbered Pic Sleeve B/w Piece Of USD $7.87 Buy It Now 6h 22m
LOUD Song For The Lonely CD 3 Track B/w Geist 2 And Massacre UK China 1991 USD $7.87 Buy It Now 6h 27m
MR OIZO Flat Beat CD 3 Track Radio Edit B/w Standard Version And Monday Massacre USD $7.87 Buy It Now 6h 28m
BEATNUTS A Musical Massacre LOUD/VIOLATOR LP VG++ USD $6.00 [1 bids]
6h 46m
SQUIRM Psychosis CD 12 Track GERMAN Massacre 1993 USD $7.87 Buy It Now 6h 47m
VIGILANTE Chaos Pilgrimage CD 11 Track GERMAN Massacre 1999 USD $7.87 Buy It Now 6h 48m
ARTCORE Various Artists 7" 4 Track Split Yellow Vinyl 7" Qm By Quad Massacre, Yo USD $7.87 Buy It Now 7h 8m
Infatuator by Silent Force Signed by DC Coooper (Massacre Records) USD $114.99 [0 bids]
7h 32m
DENI REID AND KILTS 45 Massacre Of Glencoe 7" 3 Track B/w Maggie And Old Fashion USD $15.39 Buy It Now 8h 3m
88 TORONTO METAL MASSACRE SACRIFICE AT WAR WHIPLASH +MORE GREAT QUALITY FOOTAGE USD $4.99 Buy It Now 8h 24m
THE BEATNUTS A Musical Massacre CD 1999 Loud 1722 *Combined Shipping USD $4.00 Buy It Now 8h 51m
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE And This Is Our Music DOUBLE LP 17 Track Double In Gate USD $27.06 Buy It Now 8h 53m
Wu Massacre by Ghostface Killah/Method Man/Raekwon CD Wu Tang Clan Def Jam USD $4.99 [1 bids]
8h 58m
RAZOR LIVE DVD 1989 METAL MASSACRE CONCERT HALL TORONTO GREAT QUALITY FOOTAGE USD $4.99 Buy It Now 9h 19m
SCATTERED REMNANTS - INHERENT PERVERSION,MONSTROSITY,MASSACRE,PYREXIA,ROTTREVORE USD $28.99 Buy It Now 9h 28m
MASSACRE Tyrants Of Death DEATH MANTAS CULT DEMOS AND LIVE MATERIAL RARE! USD $15.00 Buy It Now 9h 29m
50 Cent "The Massacre" 2 LP 2005 Shady Records Original OOP Record #B0004317-01 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
9h 29m
Fleshold Pathetic - 1995 Massacre USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 39m
Massacre Of The Umbilical Cord - I'm Surprised He Hasnt Killed Anyone [CD New] USD $6.34 Buy It Now 9h 40m
50 Cent - The Massacre Cassette Tape Brand New USD $59.00 Buy It Now 9h 43m
RALPH JONES Slumber Party Massacre LP 9 Track Clear / Opaque Vinyl With Poster A USD $34.24 Buy It Now 10h 18m
ATROCITY-SHAPE EDITION 1 PRESS 1999 MASSACRE RECORDS CULT RARE!!! USD $19.99 Buy It Now 10h 40m
BABY BOY ENE-California Massacre,TULARE,NORTENO,RARE CD USD $63.57 Buy It Now 10h 50m
Pink Cream 69 - Endangered 2001 Massacre Records Digipak W/Bonus Rare OOP HTF USD $18.99 Buy It Now 11h 3m
"Metal Massacre II" Metal Blade Records Comp. ARMORED SAINT Overkill OBSESSION USD $30.00 Buy It Now 11h 7m
GRAVEYARDS-CINDERS-LP SERGENT MASSACRE-LP NEAR MINT USD $19.99 Buy It Now 11h 25m
GREEN WALL 45 EP Holiday Inn Massacre DAVIES PRODUCTIONS Pic Sleeve INDIE Grunge USD $20.00 Buy It Now 11h 29m
USM United States Of Mind: Silver Step Child CD 2000 Massacre Records MAS CD0262 USD $9.95 Buy It Now 11h 31m
ANVIL LIVE DVD 2005 MONTREAL METAL MASSACRE FEST GREAT QUALITY FOOTAGE USD $4.99 Buy It Now 11h 40m
Blood is My Trademark by The Blood God (CD, Aug-2014, Massacre Records) USD $12.54 Buy It Now 12h 6m
Red Carpet Massacre by Duran Duran (CD, Nov-2007) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 12h 43m
Their Satanic Majesties 2nd Request Brian Jonestown Massacre Audio CD USD $15.13 Buy It Now 12h 49m
MASSACRE OF THE UMBILICAL CORD - I'M SURPRISED HE HASN'T KILLED ANYONE NEW CD USD $8.27 Buy It Now 12h 50m
SEGES FINDERE Massacre Supremacista CD abyssic hate moonblood kristallnacht USD $7.99 [1 bids]
13h 4m
DJ P - B-BOY MASSACRE / BIGGIE VS. WINGS 12" SINGLE SEALED NEW !!!!!!!! USD $11.99 Buy It Now 13h 7m
SADUS-OUT FOR BLOOD death,massacre,atheist,autopsy,slayer 2006 MASCOT USD $4.99 Buy It Now 13h 40m
Fleshold - Pathetic (CD, Feb-1995, Massacre Records) USD $3.71 Buy It Now 13h 52m
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Smoking Acid 2 Vinyl LP Set Still Sealed USD $85.00 Buy It Now 14h 2m
(CO671) Silverchair, Pure Massacre - 1995 CD USD $4.49 Buy It Now 14h 4m
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Part 2 -Original Cassette Soundtrack- CRAMPS Rare I.R.S. USD $5.50 [2 bids]
14h 6m
MOTORHEAD AND GIRLS SCHOOL,ST VALENTINES DAY MASSACRE,1981,10 INCH ,VG CONDITION USD $10.50 [0 bids]
14h 20m
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE / KVB - Australian 2013 RARE Tour 7" A Records USD $30.04 Buy It Now 14h 27m
DENELS: Massacre Stomp (oldies vinyl 45) USD $25.00 Buy It Now 14h 35m
KING DIAMOND Give me your soul please LP 2007 orig. MASSACRE issue mercyful fate USD $32.99 Buy It Now 14h 38m
MASSACRE meltdown USA CD 2001 henry cow ART BEARS this heat BILL LASWELL USD $8.00 Buy It Now 14h 49m
Unrest - Back To The Roots + Watch Out 2006 Massacre Records Rare OOP HTF 2 CD USD $38.99 Buy It Now 14h 54m
RADIO MASSACRE INTER - TIME & MOTION * - NEW CD BOXSET USD $15.71 Buy It Now 15h 34m
MASSACRE - FROM PUNK TO THE GRAVE - NEW CD BOXSET USD $37.43 Buy It Now 15h 58m
NARNIA "Course Of A Generation CD 2009 Massacre Records ?- MAS CD0663 NEW SEALED USD $8.99 Buy It Now 17h 43m
Deadlands - Evilution CD 2013 reissue bonus track power metal Massacre Records USD $16.95 Buy It Now 17h 50m
Metal Massacre VII-Various-Metal-Record-Album-Vinyl-LP Metal Blade Records-1985 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 17h 54m
BENEATH THE MASSACRE:Left Hand:T-shirt:NEW:LARGE ONLY USD $23.83 Buy It Now 19h
Mortician-mortal massacre ep slimcase 1993 1st press death metal mint USD $26.00 Buy It Now 19h 35m
Dance Club Massacre - Feast of the Blood Monsters (Metal Blade) CD NEW USD $3.49 Buy It Now 20h 59m
DEATH - LEPROSY SIGNED AUTOGRAPHED CENTURY MEDIA REISSUE 1998 MASSACRE SICK USD $49.99 [0 bids]
21h 17m
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE & MAGIC CASTLES rsd 2014 Splatter Color EP LOW #0127/3K USD $19.95 Buy It Now 23h 2m
Steel Prophet * Beware * CD + DVD * Power Metal * Massacre Rec. * 2004 * USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Brian Jonestown Massacre My Bloody Underground 2lp new vinyl USD $34.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MASSACRE DEATH METAL EMBROIDERED PATCH USD $5.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Massacre Of The Umbilical Cord - IM Surprised He Hasnt Killed Anyone CD USD $10.19 Buy It Now 1 day
MASSACRE - MAGAZINE CUTTINGS COLLECTION (REF S4) USD $10.44 Buy It Now 1 day
STONE LAKE monolith CD 2013 Massacre Records ?- MAS CD0815 USD $19.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE BIRTHDAY MASSACR - NOTHING & NOWHERE [THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE] - NEW CD USD $10.09 Buy It Now 1 day
50 CENT *THE MASSACRE* ORIGINAL 2005 CD IN EXCELLENT CONDITION USD $9.93 Buy It Now 1 day
THE BIRTHDAY MASSACR - SHOW AND TELL [THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE] - NEW CD USD $12.08 Buy It Now 1 day
Rare cd ANDROMEDA Chimera promo Massacre Records 2006 dream theater USD $13.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Massacre by Billy D. Light Trio USD $3.99 Buy It Now 1 day
MORTICIAN-MORTAL MASSACRE impetigo,necrophagia,malignancy 1993 RELAPSE ORG! USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Totenmond - Tonberg Urtod (CD, Jun-2005, Massacre Records) + free promo CD USD $11.90 Buy It Now 1 day
50 Cent- The Massacre - 9885127 USD $10.97 Buy It Now 1 day
MASSACRE DIFERENTES MANERAS SEALED CD NEW LIVE USD $5.54 Buy It Now 1 day
Radio Massacre International ORGAN HARVEST Tangerine Dream FAX Namlook SCHULZE USD $24.98 [0 bids]
1 day
Brain Jonestown Massacre(CD Single)When Jokers Attack-Tee Pee-Very Good USD $6.89 Buy It Now 1 day
@ CD Meduza - Upon The World / MASSACRE RECORDS 2004 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
BENEATH THE MASSACRE Mechanics Of Dysfunction CD 2007 Death Metal USD $7.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Dystopia - Beneath The Massacre (2010, Vinyl New) USD $14.80 Buy It Now 1 day
DEMOLITION HAMMER Tortured Existence LP ORG 1990 MASSACRE SLAYER DEATH SADUS USD $16.00 [5 bids]
1 day
BENEATH THE MASSACRE - DYSTOPIA NEW VINYL USD $13.39 Buy It Now 1 day
PESTILENCE Consuming Impulse LP 1989 First Press CARCASS SADUS ATHEIST MASSACRE USD $16.50 [4 bids]
1 day
Beneath The Massacre - Dystopia [Vinyl New] USD $14.61 Buy It Now 1 day
Narnia: Enter The Gate CD 2006 Massacre Records Germany MAS CD0517 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 1 day
MADE IN BRAZIL - Massacre LP BRAZIL PSYCH HARD GUITAR FUZZ pokora ==NOT mutantes USD $40.00 [0 bids]
1 day
NIGGER KOJAK/MASSACRE /BELMONT ROCKERS THING!!!!!!! USD $16.53 Buy It Now 1 day
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Bringing It All Back Home Again Vinyl LP Still Sealed USD $32.00 Buy It Now 1 day
MASSACRE Inhuman Condition CD RARE death black metal slayer obituary venom USD $24.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Massacre, Blind Guardian, Decapitated Christ, Lynch Mob, and More Metal Pack USD $28.00 Buy It Now 1 day
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Tepid Peppermint Wonderland Vol 1 USD $13.09 [4 bids]
1 day
Grifteskymfning Demo 08 ORG Ltd500 CD Massacre Records USD $10.00 [0 bids]
1 day
0 result found for "MASSACRE"
Visit LPCDressisues.com for more results


More places to buy MASSACRE music online Buy MASSACRE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for MASSACRE DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

MASSACRE shows & tickets


MASSACRE has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

MASSACRE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MASSACRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 15 ratings
Killing Time
1981
3.59 | 6 ratings
Funny Valentine
1998

MASSACRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.80 | 5 ratings
Meltdown
2001
3.88 | 5 ratings
Lonely Heart
2007

MASSACRE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MASSACRE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MASSACRE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MASSACRE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lonely Heart by MASSACRE album cover Live, 2007
3.88 | 5 ratings

BUY
Lonely Heart
Massacre RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Last Massacre trio release recorded during their two concerts in Europe in 2003.

Fred Frith, former Henry Cow guitarist, in late 70s moved to NY, where founded down town power trio with bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Fred Maher. After first release drummer gone, and their next albums were recorded with drummer Charles Hayward. Next one came in 1998 only and became their last (to time) studio release.

In 2001 the group released Meltdown, a six-track set recorded at Robert Wyatt's Meltdown Festival in London in June 2001. "Lonely Heart" was released in 2007.

Fred Frith plays heavy, sometimes fast, and often hard core guitar improvs there on this recording. In fact , all the album is some long improvs for radical electric guitar, with support of rhythm section. Drumming is jazzy and great, Bill Laswell bass is not so impressive, and a bit back-up.

Fred Frith guitar speed and techniques are fantastic there. For sure, as often with free form improv music, unprepared listener will hardly find there any structure or concept. I find it attractive to enjoy excellent electric guitar work and free jazz rhythm section support though.

This album's music was recorded more than decade later after first hard core Naked City releases (with Fred Frith on bass). It's really interesting to hear some ideas and experience Frith brings there on his Massacre project from collaboration with Zorn and guitarist Bill Frisell on Naked City.

Really interesting release for fans of hard core guitar avant jazz fans. Not sure how attractive this music could be for symphonic prog lovers :).

My rating is 3,5, rounded to 4.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Killing Time by MASSACRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.68 | 15 ratings

BUY
Killing Time
Massacre RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

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.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Funny Valentine by MASSACRE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.59 | 6 ratings

BUY
Funny Valentine
Massacre RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Almost 17 years after Massacre's only album and the group's end, a second album appeared out of the blue (for this writer anyway), and while I had never heard their first, it was on my to-do list for years, but I got to hear this one well before the historic album. Still a big Frith project with the great Bill Laswell backing him on bass, but this time they are joined by the immense Charles Hayward (Quiet Sun and This Heat), this album could only be fantastic, even if the operation was risky for their reputation. And truth be told: it is fantastic!! And to top it all the great John Zorn is producing the album as well.

Right off the bat, Massacre (with opener Leaf Violence) catches you by the throat, transforms it in a stranglehold and gives you only the minimum breathing space as not to choke you to death, but let's face it, your brains will have melted by the end of the album, assured air supply or not (no pun intended ;-). Clearly the group has not taken one wrinkle and every moments sizzle so hard that you wonder whether your speakers will hang on for their lives long enough until the disc has been ejected. Not everything is typical either as the mid section of the third track, called Skin Junk is veering in dub- type of music, but the highlight of the start of the album is the 11-min+ Ladder, where Frith just floats on Laswell's great bass bed and Hayward's frantic drumming, torturing his guitar. Ladder has a bit of a drum'n bass feel( (but over halfway, this digresses into a improv too), and it is up to Frith to take the show with his improvisation skills, which he does amazingly well.

Orange Sunset is a rare breathing moment and the quietest and most ambient track of the album. The sinister Six Cylinder is a slow crescendo, climaxing chaotically before returning to its original jungle-like ambiance. Vacant Lot starts much the same way with Frith almost doing a Fripp, but it is Laswell's show, this time. The album goes on with more superb tracks, which are just as torrid as the previous ones, never releasing the clutch and driving your brains to the overdose. Only the fairly different closing White Arc is slightly weaker, but by that time our brains are clinically dead

This absolutely mental album suffers a bit from its length (and to a lesser extent, the lack of more instruments), but overall, it shines like the sun in the middle of drought, frying everything in sight including what's left of your neurones. Massacre just managed great with what could've been a disaster and was most likely a long shot even for three masters like them. Outstanding and standing out.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Funny Valentine by MASSACRE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.59 | 6 ratings

BUY
Funny Valentine
Massacre RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Massacre burned brightly for less than 18 months in the early 1980s. They established the blueprint for the avant prog power trio; bridged the gap between 70s European RIO and 80s downtown New York avant garde; threw rock, free jazz, punk, dub and funk into the blender and could make your toes tap and your ears bleed at the same time; released a classic album; gave performances that remain legendary in avant prog circles to this day; then they quit while they were ahead. In short, a tough act to follow.

Reviving the band in the late 90s with Charles Hayward replacing Fred Maher as drummer was always going to be a risky proposition, and this album manages to both please and disappoint. The bad news is that the short, wildly inventive pieces on the debut album have largely been replaced with longer, less focussed tracks, not all of which come off. The good news is that Massacre have not mellowed with age and have moved with the times - this is still fret melting, paint blistering stuff, and the post punk mutant funk/dub rhythms of their first incarnation have been updated. This can be heard most spectacularly on the 11 and a half minute Ladder, where Laswell and Hayward lay down a RIO version of drum and bass over which Frith plays some extremely mean and dirty guitar, sounding like the out and out rocker he could have been in an alternate universe. Elsewhere the trio explore the dark, dubby atmospheres only hinted at in their early work, with Hayward's melodica giving the impression that Augustus Pablo is jamming with Material on South Orange Sunset. For the most part though, this is an album of free jazz workouts using the primary colours of rock music, and as is often the case with such music it is sometimes hard work but rewards careful listening.

The whole thing was superbly produced by John Zorn, with particularly rich and deep bass and drum sounds. If it doesn't quite live up to expectations Funny Valentines is still a powerful slice of avant prog from three masters of the genre at the top of their game. Frith, Laswell and Hayward are incapable of being boring and at their best play with a white knuckle intensity that few of their peers can equal. This album is worth checking out, but definitely non essential.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

 Killing Time by MASSACRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.68 | 15 ratings

BUY
Killing Time
Massacre RIO/Avant-Prog

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.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Thanks to syzygy for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 2.05 seconds