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THE BOB LAZAR STORY

Eclectic Prog • New Zealand


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The Bob Lazar Story picture
The Bob Lazar Story biography
Founded in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2006

THE BOB LAZAR STORY is yet another uncompromising young band from the ever-growing New Zealand scene. These guys are from Christchurch, they're on the heavier side of Eclectic Prog, with bursting patterns, hissy organ in the background Zappa's quirkiness, and Crimson angularity. They're not afraid to unexpectedly shift a time-measure or two or throw in a solid amount of jazz fusion or anything you can imagine. Their influenes are covering everything from Testament to Dixie Dregs. Yes, acoustic folksy parts are also there, as well as hi-tech synth moments.

The members of this oddity are Matt Deacon - Guitars, Mike Fudakowski - Bass(8-string bass, gentlemen!-), Kevin Roberts - Drums and Razor Nathon - Keyboards.

I must underline one thing. Regardless of wide palette of musical influences and their structural quirkiness, they're really good at knitting various harmonies. They're worth checking for that fact alone.

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THE BOB LAZAR STORY discography


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THE BOB LAZAR STORY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 4 ratings
(sic)
2006
4.00 | 2 ratings
Space Roots
2012
4.09 | 4 ratings
Baritonia
2017
2.50 | 2 ratings
Vanquisher
2019

THE BOB LAZAR STORY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE BOB LAZAR STORY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE BOB LAZAR STORY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE BOB LAZAR STORY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 2 ratings
The Silence of Perez de Cuellar
2007
4.00 | 2 ratings
Ghost of Foodstool
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Self-Loathing Joe
2015

THE BOB LAZAR STORY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vanquisher by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.50 | 2 ratings

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Vanquisher
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars After far too long, The Bob Lazar Story are back with their fourth album, and for those who have yet to come across them then they describe themselves as "purveyors of tritonal wankery, and offer an oasis of ProgMathsyFusion to soothe your weary earholes,' so there. If that isn't enough, band leader/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Matt Deacon is the only prog musician I have been able to have a beer with here in the Garden City (Christchurch NZ, not WGC UK), as he also departed from the UK many years ago to settle in Aotearoa. What I have always found quite intriguing about the band is that there are based around Matt and drummer Chris Jago, both originally Scousers, but Chris is based in Los Angeles which makes both composing and recording somewhat interesting as they work independently to create something which sounds as if they are bouncing ideas off each other. Also of interest to fans of the band is the reappearance of Mike Fudakowski on bass, who appeared on the second album 'Space Roots'. I asked Matt what had happened with Mike and was told 'Fud was heavily involved in an 8 year-long Dungeons and Dragons campaign and couldn't be disturbed. He escaped with his life, just, and I brought him back on board for a few tunes.'

With album art which link to previous releases, a weird obsession with something called a 'foodstool', and a predilection for things very hot and spicy (hence the cover this time around), it is safe to say that this band are quite different to what else is around, and that's before we get to the music. For Matt and Chris the world revolves around Frank Zappa, although in recent years there has also been an influence from Cardiacs. Complex and complicated music, which at times also includes quite a sense of humour, one would never realise the two main musicians are on either sides of the Pacific ocean as they weave their patterns.

There are sixteen tracks with a total running time of less than forty minutes, and some of them are just off the wall skits not to be taken seriously at all, while others build and develop, all the time showing there is a future for instrumental progressive music from artist who refuse to conform to any given idea of what that should be like. Definitely for fans of Zappa, 'Sing To God' era Cardiacs, and progheads who don't want their music to be too serious.

 Vanquisher by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Studio Album, 2019
2.50 | 2 ratings

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Vanquisher
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars 'The Bob Lazer Story' is an Eclectic Prog band from New Zealand that was founded in 2006. The music covers quite an array of styles, quick to change from one style to another. The album 'Vanquisher' is their 4th full length studio album. The band is made up of Matt Deacon on guitars and vocals, Mike Fudakowski on bass, Chris Jago on drums. Guests Zeke Deacon also provides some vocals and Jacob Petrossian plays lead guitar on track 7. The album is made up of 16 tracks, most of them under 5 minutes, but 2 manage to make it over 5 minutes.

'Pongville' (0:50) starts out as a jazzy number and ends up sounding very pong-like. 'Eleven' (1:55) is a bit smoother with a tropical feel and a complex drum pattern. 'Eyes Only/Vanquisher' (2:00) comes across both bright and colorful, then changes to a slightly darker tone, but never really developing into anything. 'Section 8' (1:52) begins with heavy guitars, but then turns suddenly more minimal and then builds back some steam as it goes on. The rhythm is tricky again, very progressive and covering some interesting territory, but goes by so fast that it never settles into anything.

Finally, the 5th track manages to get up to 4 minutes. 'Project Top Secret' bounces around a lot, hoping to different rhythms and melodies and then suddenly becoming minimal around the 2 minute mark, before a sudden heavy guitar riff comes in contrasted by a brighter melody provided by electronic keys. After that, it chugs along directed by that chunky riff while the synth merrily sings along. 'Arps' (0:06) is fast and quirky, over almost as soon as it begins, just a cascade of fast notes. 'Ambient Pedals' (3:05) goes back to a heavy, chunky sound with drums pounding slowly along to the dark riffs. Several layers just churn along, tripping over each other clumsily. 'Randoloftentimes' (0:19) is simply electric guitar playing what sounds like a snippet of a solo.

'Is This Foodstool?' (6:36) is the longest track on this reader's digest of condensed tunes. The guitars and organ follow a King Crimson inspired style with some nice complexities, odd meters and a long, strange sustained note that suddenly takes the air out of everything. A bass sound just kind of plucks along after this for a while, then acoustic guitar picks up a pensive quasi- melody. Not much happens for a while as you wait expectedly for something to happen, it just doesn't. The track started interesting enough, but then goes nowhere. 'Tony!!' (0:19) sounds like a kid and adult yelling at each other indiscernibly. 'Restroom' (0:44) is some backward sounding percussion effects with a pointless melody on top of it. 'Goodbye Victor Tripaldi' (2:30) has a sort-of Tortoise vibe to it, tonal and regular percussion, lots of organ and guitar playing together. One of the more interesting tracks, but it is too short. It does manage to boil into a nice progressive interaction towards the end

'Hooves & Broken Biscuits' (4:32) starts with synthesized choral effects that morphs into a soft electric piano style, then following into a heavy interaction between drums, organ and guitar. Some hollering is going on in the background as the keys swirl around, and then the tune slips into a slow, blues style vibe led by bass and guitar As it nears the end, things suddenly get chaotic and the tempo speeds up to a moderate pounding while a heavy guitar takes over and leads the track to it's conclusion. 'Two for the Rest' (3:49) consists of keyboard loops that build one note at a time until a repeating riff is formed, and a laid-back, moderate rhythm takes over. The smoothness gives into a progressive vibe and then moves back to the steady rhythm again as everything else just kind of meanders along aimlessly, then it all comes together in a slow march with the guitar playing a more focused melody.

'Operation Full Klinger' (5:31) just kind of goes everywhere, never settling into any style, and then suddenly goes really weird by repeating an ascending and descending effect over and over again for about a minute and a half. Finally at 3 minutes, a jazz like vibe takes over with some guitar and slow drums which seems like it could develop into something, but most likely will only cause you to fall to the floor when you fall asleep. But you will be awakened by a sudden fast section with a crazy synth style solo, which ends up not developing into anything except for an ending. 'Elvensnip' (1:33) ends this wandering album with meandering guitar and electronic keys.

While it's true this album covers a lot of instrumental territory in a short time, it never seems to arrive anywhere. It just seems to be weird for the sake of being weird and not so much for being musically worth anything. There are some strange ideas here, and if the band could just settle in on an idea long enough, they might have been developed into something. And then, each time you think they have hit on something, things just suddenly take a turn for the worse. The many short tracks might give the appearance of being quirky or daring, and that would be okay, but what we end up with is a lot of time spent not going anywhere or developing anything, and only a couple of tracks that are truly interesting, but even those don't get time to develop, either that, or they just take a strange turn where it seems like time is just being eaten up. And with an album that doesn't even make it to 40 minutes, it seems that most of this album is just eaten up time.

 Baritonia by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.09 | 4 ratings

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Baritonia
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars

According to their Bandcamp site, these guys are purveyors of tritonal wankery, and offer an oasis of ProgMathsyFusion to soothe your weary earholes. The guys behind the band are Matt Deacon (guitar, gynth, mouse, jaws harp) and Chris Jago (drums, finger cymbal). Although they originally met at a music college in Liverpool, they are now living rather separate lives with Matt in New Zealand and Chris in Los Angeles. So how they manage to produce music quite like this says a lot about tenacity and perseverance, as well as something about the internet. This is the first new album in five years, and back then they were a four-piece, but they have released a couple of EP's during the intervening period, and this is more of a follow on from 'Self-Loathing Joe' than 'Space Roots' (the cover of the EP was of a coffee mug, the cover of this album is of a stain left on a table when said coffee cup is removed). The other big change of course, is that even though Matt is on the other side of the world from the UK, he managed to convince David of BEM to release this album, which will undoubtedly assist in it getting far more awareness than previously.

Complex and interweaving, this never comes across as a duo, and certainly not one that is split on different continents. When Matt and I met up recently we had some long discussions on the impact on music of guitarists such as Allan Holdsworth and Frank Zappa, and it is possible to hear the influences of both within his own style. This is music that sometimes contains elements of Hawkwind, but these are just in the background, allowing Matt to move away and create something quite different. Some of the keyboards sounds are very dated, very Eighties, but within the music they definitely work. Matt isn't afraid to use an acoustic guitar when he wants to either, it is all about using the right tool for the job, and sometimes he slows down what he is doing and lets Chris pick up the pace. This is not a solo artist with a drum machine, this is a duo working and bouncing ideas off each other.

I have long been a fan of these guys, and I can only hope that by signing with BEM their music will be become more widely known and appreciated, as it deserves it.

 Self-Loathing Joe by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2015
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Self-Loathing Joe
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Released in 2015, Matt said this EP "sounds like two small bands having a fight on some stairs.". I guess one of those bands plays acoustic guitars, while the other is into harder rock, and somehow they have to share a drummer. And they all like Zappa, and Fripp, and jazz, and being able to make musical sense out of intricate melodies where nothing should gel, but does. Somewhere along the line Chris and Matt managed to misplace Mike, so they were down to a duo. There are even quite a few "vocals" here, but they are mostly spoken word so it doesn't detract too much from the instrumental insanity that is going on for the rest of the piece. One of the songs is nearly nine minutes long, but another is only sixteen seconds, with the seven songs getting just past the twenty-minute mark.

All their albums/EPs stretch musical boundaries without ever seeming to do so, as this music is just so easy to listen to, yet shouldn't be. I was playing this at work the other day, and I was asked what on earth it was as it was so compelling. When I told him that they were a local band (I now work in the city these guys are from) he was amazed and immediately went off to find out more. Which is exactly what you should be doing right now. Music as adventurous and wonderful as this needs full support. They have signed to Bad Elephant for their next album, which should be out in a few months' time. Until then get over to Bandcamp and listen to some music that will blow your mind.

 Ghost of Foodstool by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Ghost of Foodstool
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Looking at their Bandcamp page, I can see that Matt Deacon describes his band as "Purveyor of tritonal wankery, The Bob Lazar Story hail from Christchurch, NZ and offer you an oasis of ProgMathsyFusion to soothe your weary earholes". I've been lucky enough to hear both their albums, and their first EP, with this one following in 2014. Seven songs, with a total playing length of fourteen minutes, this is even more eclectic and brilliant than normal! One could argue that this is a close relative to Zappa, while I have also seen someone describe their music as "a tasty cake of dribbly madness". Chris Jago has an incredibly important part to play behind the drums, making them much more of an in your face instrument, very much in keeping with jazz, than one may expect from a rock act. Mike Fudakowski has a similar role with the bass, and they both try to keep up with the manic Matt on guitar.

They are all obviously off their rockers, as this music is hard to describe, yet also always makes total perfect sense. It is melodic, controlled, easy to listen to, yet takes King Crimson to whole new level. Why these guys aren't huge I will never understand, but until the world sits up and takes notice, us in the minority will smile and nod knowingly that these guys are musical geniuses

 Space Roots by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Space Roots
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars In 2009, Matt had the next album almost 95% written when he had to return to the UK for an extended period so all writing and recording stopped until he returned to NZ in 2012. At this point he got together all of the music from the various places it was stored, got in a friend to undertake all of the basswork, and put together an album. It is thematic in the sense that it has a long track followed by a short one, the result being that the album contains some 19 songs in the end. In some ways it isn't as consistent in its' approach as the others, but given how the album came together it is really not at all surprising. Again we are treated to some wonderful instrumental numbers where I found that I ended up in a world where I really wanted to stay for a while. This is music that definitely benefits from being played at headphones so that there are no distractions and all of the nuances (such as a simple acoustic guitar drop in for just one bar) are there to be heard. The only positive about not coming across Matt before is that I was able to hear all three of his works in one go, the downside of course is that I am now hungry for more. He is a wonderful guitarist with some great eclectic ideas, and fans of Zappa and music that is made by real musicians really do need to hear this asap. Available, as are the others, as downloads from various places such as Bandcamp as well as CDs from his website at www.lucidbrucemusic.com. Below is his own guide to the album

"It's Thirteen" (03.08)

From "The Aranui Sessions" recorded in June 2009. Clunky, quirky and heavy. Like your mother.

"Synthyer" (0.07)

Short but sweet.

"Two Vowels Contemplate The End Of The World" (05.26)

Longest track on the CD. Goes through several changes. No wanky prog solos.

"Fuhdstewl" (00.24)

Short but sweeter.

"Instant Jedi" (02.27)

One of the very few guitar solos features in the midst of another track from "The Aranui Sessions".

"Rawk" (00.16)

Heavy, synthy, short. Drums by Chris Jago, who once played in goal against Robbie Fowler.

"Mr Weiner Pants" (02.54)

My old Headmaster used to wear his trousers very high. Lots of gear shifts in this one. Third track from "The Aranui Sessions".

"Techno Bert vs The Klezzies" (00.41)

Eastern Europe meets game show meets Knight Rider on steroids.

"Alive In The Mullet Zone" (3.00)

Fearsome drums from The Jago. Riff-Tastic first half, Jazzy bit, then best solo ever by me. Someone once told me an old song of mine sounded like YYZ by Rush, so the last 4 notes pay homage to the end of that song.

"Deadbiking Trilogy" (04.49)

This one took ages to write. All synth for the first 2 parts, then multi layered guitar outro. Will be the hardest for rock fans to get into, but almost my favourite tune on the disc.

"Late Night Guitar" (00.42)

Four guitars, nowt else.

"Henry Kissinger Must Diet" (02.36)

The last of "The Aranui Sessions". Starts in 9/4 and morphs into mellow jazz before heavy ending.

"Lou Reed's Haemorrhoids" (00.10)

Lou Reed's Haemorrhoids have more talent than Lou Reed.

"Rawk II" (03.22)

Heavy and synthy with a beautiful bass interlude from Fud.

"Death To The Meat Whores" (00.12)

Short but Swede.

"I Haven't Touched Your Dog, Mate" (03.53)

Honestly, I haven't. Mellower tune to break up the madness, although there is a heavy break in the middle.

"Widdly Diddly" (00.25)

Sequenced oddness.

"Glass Eyed II" (03.04)

Written to a pre-existing drum track. Heavy, jazzy, clunky.

"Siren" (01.15)

Thereminty. Mellow closer.

 The Silence of Perez de Cuellar by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
4.05 | 2 ratings

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The Silence of Perez de Cuellar
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Matt followed up the 2006 release of '(sic)' with this EP (another UFO reference in the title) the following year. No drum machine here (and in fact there are two drummers credited). This album is even more Zappa-esque than the previous one, with some wonderful bass/guitar/drum interplay as each musician is in perfect sync with the others. There are also some delicate vibraphones in the background at times, which also adds to the feel. This EP is more controlled than the previous one, with a seeming less spontaneity and more thought and layering. Matt has also ensured that everyone has their chance to shine, and there is a wonderfully poignant bass solo in "My Hand Looks Like A Brontosaurus" which is followed by some multi-layered guitars that takes it all to a new level.

In many ways this is music that is incredibly complex, yet in others it is quite simple as it is all about clean lines and demarcation while bringing everything together in a wonderfully warm and non-clinical manner. There are times when everything is almost gentle in its' approach, while at others it is a collision waiting to happen as the notes are flying everywhere yet it always maintains the patterns so that everyone comes through unscathed. This really is instrumental progressive jazz-influenced Zappa-influenced music as its' very best. www.lucidbrucemusic.com

 (sic) by BOB LAZAR STORY, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.96 | 4 ratings

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(sic)
The Bob Lazar Story Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars When I was asked to join the Crossover Team on PA I had many email conversations with the team leader, Marty, who asked me if I knew that it was possible to search for band by country and provided a link. I wasn't aware, so immediately went off to have a look at NZ as we aren't exactly a prog hotbed down here. I commented that some bands were probably missing from the list, but was surprised and pleased to see that there were some active bands around, which is how I got in touch with Matt Deacon. In 2004 he released an album under his own name, which was more ambient but with some prog leanings, and he felt that if he was going to release something that was very different then perhaps he should use a pseudonym, so due to his interest in UFO's he chose the name Bob Lazar (a controversial figure in the scene who claims to have worked with extra-terrestrial technology). The first time I played this I was just blown away, as here is another artist unknown to me (and many others), who is bringing together elements of Zappa with Seventies progressive music in a guitar-driven album that is impressive to say the least. Matt is a wonderful guitarist with great feel, and is happy to use acoustic or electric, whatever the requirement is for the piece, and will bring in heavier elements or jazz as the mood strikes. Most of the drums on this album are a machine, but actually isn't as intrusive as it could be, and Matt brought in some mates to act as session musicians so that it has more of a band feel. There are times when it blasts into something avant-garde that could have come straight from the Art Zoyd playbook and I love it.

There is a real melange of styles throughout this album, with the only constant being Matt's guitar, which is often, although not always, driving the proceedings forward. He has an incredible fluidity to all that he does and I am sure that if he was based in the UK or America as opposed to down here in NZ then he would be really well known within the scene. He provided me his own views on the songs and they are worth repeating.

"Levers Of Doom" ? Acoustic intro over feedback fades in to main section of eastern tinged melody, back to acoustic, then heavy outro. "ThreeFourFaster" - Reworking of tune from first album. Heavier, faster. With theremin. This one has been # 1 in the all time guitar charts on garageband.com(Experimental Rock) for the last year.

"Double Turn Double Safe" ? Heavy, heavier, then country.

"Heavy Sandwich" ? Groovy first section, then acoustic solo, then outro section with monster sax solo.

"Greengold" ? My ode to Spirulina. Percussive intro, grinding odd time riff, keyboard feature, space out then key solo and guitar solo outro.

"Son of Six" ? Another old tune reworked into a more acoustic feel. I really like this one. "The Progressive Adventures Of Foodstool" ? Weird and wacky, several different directions explored in one song.

"I Didn't Get Anything Off That" ? Epic outro, building from humble beginning featuring Tanya Didham on spoken word stream of consciousness.

All in all this is a wonderful album that those into Zappa style inventive guitar driven prog seriously need to investigate. www.lucidbrucemusic.com

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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