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5uu's - Hunger's Teeth CD (album) cover





4.12 | 85 ratings

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3 stars The music of 5UU'S would be a good introduction to the intriguing world of RIO. "Hunger's Teeth" is quite an accessible release, as it includes plenty of ear- catching melodic hooks and humorous moments. At the same time, it's rich of tricky meters and inherent dissonance that largely define the (sub)genre. I wouldn't go as far as calling it a masterpiece though: while I'm aware of the it's status as one of the strongest albums of the 90s and I did consider giving it 4 stars, I also find that "Hunger's Teeth" tends to slip onto a predictable and repetitive path every now and then.

It helps to think of this record as a modernized version of Henry Cow ( notably of the "Legend" era); Thinking Plague also comes to mind occasionally (which isn't surprising considering the significant involvement of Drake and Kerman with that band), although the 5UU'S compositions rarely get as complicated and "serious" as those of latter day TP. Kerman provides his widely praised and intense style of drumming, while Bob Drake's rather feminine vocals are sometimes hard to distinguish from those of Susanne Lewis (once a TP member herself). Sanjay Kumar may be the group's least known member, but he does a good job supplying interesting keyboard work. Lyrically, the band ditches over-used topics like the meaning of life in favor of humorous satire and every-day subjects ("Roan" deals with natural disasters, while "The Shears" is a funny little song about a barbershop). There's also "Mangate", a peculiar electronic piece by a Thomas DiMuzio.

The highlights include:

"Well.Not Chickenshit" - an extremely catchy opener with generous amounts of melody and weirdness along with strong rhythmic sections.

"Roan" - a dark, sinister track with more of the aforementioned elements, peaking with a soaring guitar solo.

"Truth, Justice and the American Way" - the ominous atmospherics are back in the intro befoe being replaced by a growing piano cacophony which sports an excellent hook amidst plentiful dischords. The strong beats and clownish vocal sections that follow guarantee it to stick to your head.

"Traveler Waits for No One" - the closing number is another fine exercise in catchiness. The keyboards are excellent throughout, as are the vocals of Susanne Lewis and the tasteful guitar work .

The rest of the album is certainly not to be discarded as filler, but the other tracks tend to blur into one after a while - a sure sign for me that they're nothing special. Still, "Hunger's Teeth" is among the more interesting records the prog world has to offer.


Pafnutij | 3/5 |


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