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Rascal Reporters - Ridin´ on a Bummer CD (album) cover

RIDIN´ ON A BUMMER

Rascal Reporters

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.14 | 3 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The two cassettes early in their career draw some publicity for Rascal Reporters, which were slowly becoming more well-known in underground circles.The ''Guns for Jerry's kids / Beatrice'' single was issued in 1981, giving also birth to the group's own Hebbardesque Records, and this was followed in 1984 by Rascal Reporters's first proper release, the ''Ridin' on a bummer'' LP.Steve Gore and Steve Kretzmer are supported by a few guets here, you should notice the presence of Fred Frith, Tim Hodgkinson and The Muffins Dave Newhouse.

Ok, Rascal Reporters' music remained extremely chaotic in this and pretty diverse with numerous influences, but for one strange reason ''Ridin' on a bummer'' sounds a bit more compact and consistent compared to their early material.While the cheesy computer-keyboards and vocal manipulations are still present, the focus now is on composition and actually the Progrssive Rock influence is very strong to the point the guys now even flirt with groups like YES or HANDS at moments.Of course the main comparison is still THE MUFFINS and Rascal Reporters appear to step on the footprints of these veterans, adding their personality and coming up with an incredible mix of Classic Prog, RIO, Fusion and sound effects.No surprise the most complex and musically flexible composition of the album is titled ''RIO'' and spans at over 15 minutes, a unique combination of soft piano interludes, symphonic movements, Fusion terrorism with complex workouts based on percussion, clarinet and synthesizers and frenetic, nervous synth explorations.An intelligent, if not a bit of an excessive display of talent.The rest of the album sounds like a Classic Prog group moving often into MIRIODOR-like grounds, especially when the clarinet takes over and the music becomes jazzier and thus a bit more complex, but there are also some more melodic themes in here, especially during the opening minutes with ''Elements'' and ''The hill'', which contain quirky, symphonic keyboards and romantic singing lines.

Rascal Reporters were on to something good here.Their schizophenic, experimental mix of styles is not for everybody, but fans with open ears can eventually taste some more consistent material by the American duo, which belonged among the most adventurous groups of the 80's.Recommended, the album has been reissued both via the ''Ridin on a lavender freak'' compilation and its celebrating 20th Anniversary Edition with plenty of bonus stuff.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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