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Rascal Reporters - Happy Accidents CD (album) cover

HAPPY ACCIDENTS

Rascal Reporters

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.53 | 11 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars From 1985 and for the next two years Rascal Reporters would work occasionally on their fourth album ''Happy accidents'', recorded at Sonic Crayon Studios in Detroit and at the Living Room, which is propably a name for their home recordings.At this point the duo of Gore and Kretzmer had made some good friends within the global Prog/R.I.O. scene, most of which appear on the album: Dave Newhouse from The Muffins, often considered the third member of the band, percussionists David Kerman and James Grigsby, both from U Totem, Present's and Universe Zero's bassist Guy Segers, Steve Feigenbaum played the electric guitar (founder of Cuneiform Records and the Wayside Music disc distribution company), guitarist Nick Didkovsky plus Paul Kretzmer on bass.The album came out on the Hebbardesque label in 1988.

''Happy accidents'' consists of two sidelong pieces, ''Weigh in on the way-out'' and ''Trucks'', both are a little over or under the 20-min. mark and are divided in a few shorter segments.This work finds Rascal Reporters at their creative pinnacle, their music remains quite difficult to follow, often childish and certainly chaotic, but regarding the composing skills the American duo had set series of interesting instrumental work with influences from Jazz, R.I.O. and Classic Prog, while reducing the somewhat annoying experimental passages towards a more tight, still playful and pretty progressive nature.The music relies much on keyboards, bass, piano, effects and drums with sporadic electric guitars, flute, strings and sax, the most impressive characteristic on both pieces is the comfort of the duo to mix some light vibes from Classical Music and Jazz with full-blown keyboard and piano rhythms and the everchanging tempos in a complex and adventurous offering.For the non-mystified their music will be a huge surprise, it's almost like Cartoon Prog with period keyboard programming surfacing next to the physical sounds of instruments and sounding like FRANK ZAPPA, THE MUFFINS and YES sharing a common musical direction.I find ''Weigh in on the way-out'' to be a little more efficient, but both pieces contain excellent parts of keyboard masturbations, Fusion interplays, symphonic breaks and cheap orchestral moves.

ZNR Records reissued the album in CD format in 1995, throwing in a few bonus tracks, of which ''Stabbing at air'' clocks at 25-min. minutes!Where the hell was this one hidden?Anyway, it follows the same vein as the two original lengthy pieces with big time symphonic parts, jazzy interventions and neurotic keyboard flashes, but the production is much cleaner, while some vocal parts and percussion experimentations are present in its second half.

Very good effort on quirky instrumental Prog, some keyboard ideas sounding like cheaptunes are not that rewarding, but these men were flirting with the ''genius'' label, after composing such music with limited techniques.For fans of THE MUFFINS, GENTLE GIANT, FRENCH TV and similar bands of complex Prog.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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