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U.S. Maple - Long Hair In Three Stages CD (album) cover


U.S. Maple



4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars For some reason I wasn't totally impressed for this album when listening it first time some years ago. But today after second listening I have to say I really like it! In wiki sites it is said band was formed to 'decontruct rock, only to erase rock`n`roll from collective minds'. I think they may not succeeded that at least fully in this debut album, but anyway their Beefheart/Sonic Youth influenced music is really enjoyable. It's really hard to find any band these days making such a music (glad thing was Trumans Water released an album and was on tour this year). What's the most personal in this band are the vocals. Singer Al Johnson sounds like he has some lung sickness, making some lines with rustling voice and then often making high peaks after those. Also this album demonstrates Beefheart-influenced music doesn't necessary need bass.

'Hey King' tells immediately what's the whole album about. Beefheart style-guitar licks, strolling drum fills, soon guitars go into very high keys and drums stuck into simple beat. Interestingly named 'A Letter to ZZ Top' goes more Sonic Youth direction (don't have no idea about the lyrics, because the pronouncing is really indistinct). So goes the next 'Home Made Stuff'. In the end there are some guitar noise and really distorted drum beats. SY-influenced style continues into next two pieces. 'The State Is Bad' starts with some mysterious piano chords, then starts the beat that reminds SY`s '(I Got a) Catholic Block', but here and there beat just suddenly disappears and comes back. The rest of the album goes more Beefheart direction. 'Aplomado' has some trombone, 'Northwad' is one of the greatest songs in album with it's stucking rhythm and really interesting guitar chords. CD ends into instrumental 'Lady To Bing' that is rhythmically really great! In LP version there is bonus SY-style song 'Found a Place To Have My Kittens'.

It was really great there were Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Trumans Water & U S Maple in the US at the nineties, also same time in Finland there was their 'soulmate' Sweetheart. All those bands were Beefheart influenced, but managed to create personal style. When listening U S Maple first time, I wasn't attracted their other albums at all. But now I'm really going to listen them too! This album is highly recommend to those, who like Beefhearts two last albums and eighties albums of Sonic Youth.

Mortte | 4/5 |


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