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The Flying Luttenbachers - Constructive Destruction CD (album) cover


The Flying Luttenbachers



3.98 | 5 ratings

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Man With Hat
4 stars The start of something ugly.

The Flying Luttenbachers (and leader Weasel Walter) are not one to mince words or hide their true intentions. They are not trying to be cute, they are not trying to be fashionable, they are not trying to be popular, they are not trying to be acceptable, and they are not trying to be beautiful. These are some of the reasons why I love to listen to this band. As a lover of "ugly music", once I found out what The Flying Luttenbachers were about I had to give them a listen. The band always seemed to be in a state of flux, with members shuffling in and out, yet certain stylistic ingredients are omnipresent and congealed together into a dense aural stew. At times, strictly composed, other times completely free; however, a thread does run through it all. The Flying Luttenbachers intend to make impenetrable, obtuse, difficult music that most people would easily file into the noise/unlistenable column. Squawking woodwinds/keyboards, dissident-feedback driven guitars, relentless flailing drums, punk energy, doses of full-fledged noise decadence, and an over-the-top nihilistic approach saturate the core of this music regardless whether it is written or improvised.

On Constructive Deconstruction they are firmly planted in a free-jazz mode, fuelled by a line-up of dual saxophonists (including free-jazz stalwart Ken Vandermark), guitar, bass, and drums. Even though the overall mood is free-jazz, there is still clearly structure around. Recognizable melodic forms are commonly introduced and at its most composed (or at least most composed sounding) the double sax lead lines remind me of The Muffins' or Sax Ruins' more full-throttled productions, complete with nimble sax playing and muscular yet precise drumming. The typical jazz structure of head-solo-head-solo-etc. does get its work out as well, albeit in a non-straight jazz way. While free- jazz is certainly the most obvious ingredient, there are other feelings, moods, and atmospheres heavily in play here, usually being snared together to create a homogenous product, that represents the sound of this particular The Flying Luttenbachers lineup quite well: Doses of catchy melodic blocks, free playing, and ample room for soloing all arranged succinctly (if not simply). Of course, this is not to imply Constructive Deconstruction is an easy listen. There is plenty of bleating from the saxophones, angular attacks from the guitar, spastic drumming, and harmonic irreverence abounds. However, there are times when I detect a playful vibe infiltrating the proceedings, which gives sprinkling of a certain child-like aura, and creates a notable juxtaposition amid the free jazz flavored chaos. Highlights include: The bouncy yet aggressive Pointed Stick 93-B, the quirky and loose Playing In The Dumpster, the strong and almost retro-jazzy Brainstorm, and the full out free- jazz assaults of The Indiscreet Notion.

All in all, this is a strong debut of a sadly short lived lineup. (I suppose it is only fair to say that this is also my favorite instrument line-up of The Flying Luttenbachers (dual sax, guitar, bass, drums) and while most advantages of this lineup are fully taken advantage of I do think this lineup could have grown and blossomed further.) This is certainly a difficult listen for people unaccustomed to more out-music, but this definitely is not unmelodious. There are enough catchy melody lines that will allow this to appeal to a boarder selection of people (albeit slightly). That said, an appreciation of jazz (particular free-jazz) is necessary to fully enjoy Constructive Deconstruction. A band and album that is certainly not for everyone, but for those that do enjoy this type of stuff, a pleasurable and entertaining cache is to be discovered. Thus, I will attach a cautiously recommended ranking, with a 3.5 star rating, rounded up for sheer enjoyment.

Man With Hat | 4/5 |


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