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Rascal Reporters - Freaks Obscure CD (album) cover

FREAKS OBSCURE

Rascal Reporters

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.00 | 3 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars High school friends and multi-instrumentalists Steve Gore and Steve Kretzmer started Rascal Reporters in 1974 in Detroit.The first years the duo concentrated on writing original material, much of it never saw the light actually.In 1978 they had a 45rprm single ready to be released, but lack of funding cancelled the dream for Gore and Kremtzer.Eventually Archie Patterson of California-based Eurock gave the duo a chance to release a cassette entitled ''Freaks obscure'' in 1980.

Great title to say the least as this album is both freaky and obscure with elegant and harmonic pieces rapidly destroyed by sound effects and weird distorted vocals to make Rascal Reporters an inventive but also questionable act.The work is divided in 16 short pieces and it is really hard to follow not because of the demanding musicianship but mainly because of its schezophenic atmosphere.''Freaks obscure'' really suffers for about half of its pieces (and maybe even more) where dull, cartoon-like vocals take over a weird musicianship, sometimes led by repetitive keyboards, others by distorted guitar sounds, programmed sounds and unbearable tape effects.When music takes over though, I can recognize a pair of trully talented musicians, where complexity meets harmony, with tracks slightly influenced by Classic Prog, Canterbury School in the vein of THE MUFFINS and definitely strong RIO leanings, recalling the great MIRIODOR band.Double keyboard/synth attacks, harmonic melodica parts, xylophones and furious drumming complete a nice prog image for Gore and Kremtzer, while when they sing over clean vovals they also remind a lot of GENTLE GIANT.What a pity that this material is barely 20 minutes of music.Among this material one can find also a couple of mellow pieces with an evident Classical nature in a Chamber Music style, these are decent as well.

Talented duo with an over-the-top debut, heavily but rather unsuccesfully tending to present the most crazy part of their personality.The instrumental parts though have lot to offer.''Freaks Obscure'' is contained in the 2000 ''Ridin on a Lavender Freak'' compilation, along with the 3rd Rascal Reporters' release ''Ridin' on a Bummer''.Go for this set instead of chasing an original cassette copy.This one definitely belongs among the collectors' preferences but not among the average prog fan's albums' list.

apps79 | 2/5 |

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