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The Flying Luttenbachers - Shattered Dimension CD (album) cover

SHATTERED DIMENSION

The Flying Luttenbachers

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.09 | 14 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
5 stars THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS led by the maelstrom making and hyperactive drummer Walter Weasel took the prog world to a new level in the 90s with a tidal wave of dissonance swirling around an Ornette Coleman fueled series of harmolodics that were teased into the world of no wave, avant-prog with tech death metal exactitude and became a major sensation in the underground where the bizarre new amalgamation of sounds was penned the term brutal prog by none other than Weasel himself. While Walter has been the only consistent member since the beginning as he has hosted a platform for some of the noisiest and most technical astute musicians outside of the metal world to strut their stuff, the band cranked out 12 albums from 1994 to 2007 at a fairly even pace but then all of a sudden in 2007, a deafening silence as the band was put on indefinite hold.

As the years passed diehard fans most likely thought that the wild musical antics of this wacky crazed band had been put to rest but lo and behold Weasel revived the LUTTENBACHERS in 2017 for a tour in France after an invitation by the Sonic Protest festival rekindled the brutal prog sleeping giant. Two years later and a whopping 12 since the last album "Incarceration by Abstraction" punished the world, THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS returns with one of the strongest albums of its entire career in the form of SHATTERED DIMENSION. Album #13 finds a whole new cast of noisemakers with saxophonist Matt Nelson (GRID, Elder Ones), bassist Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, Lydia Lunch, Unnatural Ways), and guitarist Brandon Seabrook (The Beat Circus, Naftule's Dream) playing alongside leader and primary composer Walter Weasel at the helm abusing his drum kit.

SHATTERED DIMENSION is a much more structured and dare i say "mature" album that tightens things up without sacrificing one iota of the frenetic dissonant filled angst that has made THE LUTTENBACHERS so brutally powerful. The album cover perfectly depicts what to expect on this album. Imagine if you will the long term mascot, the robot dude is Weasel himself. As the band leader, he creates an underlying structure in the form of steady beats, grooves and rhythmic flows while still finding the proper jazzified fills to reverberate between the cracks, provide a stable leash to tether the others on. This consistency provides the proper gravitational pull to allow the other musicians symbolized by the ring of chaos around robot dude to flutter around like the individual particles that rotate around like Saturn's rings therefore just like the chaotic randomness of the individual particles, they are allowed to free flow anywhere they want as long as they do so within the proper framework. The result is a simultaneously tight rhythmic album with all the freeform chaos you could hope for. Progressive no wave has arrived!

Now residing in NYC, THE LUTTENBACHERS recorded their five tracks which clock in at the 54 plus minute mark at the legendary Seizures Palace with sound engineer Jason LaFarge who tackles the daunting task of keeping the sound from coalescing like a pack of dogs on a muddy road. The album opens with "Goatsteppin" which opens with the band in unison like a marching band almost but in no time at all the track drifts into the paradigm of Weasel taking the role as the center of gravity while the band engages in a frenetic freewill into harmolodics like a rampaging Hulk in the Avengers movie. The inspiration is said to be gleaned through the ambitious improvisation techniques of the 70s supergroup Last Exit. "Cripple Walk" follows with a proggy guitar led riff attack that adds a much more heavy rock guitar heft with wickedly dissonant licks trading off with sizzling sax squawks and atonal chord angularness of the guitar. The track ramps up to a frenetic free for all climax.

"Epitaph" begins with a series of drum rolls and the innocence of a few power chords but quickly turns into a brutal stomp of the bass and drums that goes on for nearly 13 minutes with the guitar and sax having a sword fight to the death as one grows more and more intense until the cacophonous display of brutality climaxes in a finale that sounds like a warehouse of fireworks had exploded in a deafening thunderous roar. "Sleaze Factor" while still angular and frenetic provides a less cacophonous experience. Liner notes indicate the primary influences are Ornette Coleman's "Prime Time" era and Arthur Blythe but this is a heavy rock / jazz hybrid and the guitar, bass and drum exist somewhere in between. The grand finale is the monstrous 22 minute "Mutation" which creates a series of segments that focus on highly abstract sonic juxtapositions of pure dissonance, frenetic drumming and lengthy episodes of repetition which in some ways remind me of the Italian avant-prog Zu on "Carboniferous." The lengthy time allows a multitude of variations to spin off and develop and sometimes but usually not return to an already visited theme. The most abrasive and obnoxious display of brutality the already orotund album has to offer.

On paper, SHATTERED DIMENSION may sound like a complete mess but is actually a brilliant analysis of systematic chaos and order with each finding new anchors and then trading off. While the noise factor is turned up to 11 as is the dissonance and brutal frenetic bombast, somehow the incessantly rhythmic stability keeps everything centering around a focal point and allows the free improvisation to erratically zigzag around like a fleury of energy bolts from a Tesla coil. The album is beautifully mixed and completely instrumental. For those who haven't been indoctrinated into the brutal prog club of which has become a synonym for Wonder Weaseland (Walter really should follow Buckethead's lead and create his own amusement park!), there is no doubt this will drive you flat out batshit but if the most edgy hardened outbursts of prog and jazz making as much noise as possible is your idea of a good time then it really doesn't get much better than the creatively displayed chaos and order of THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS comeback album SHATTERED DIMENSION. Ok, now that everything is obliterated to smithereens, someone clean this mess up already!

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |

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