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French TV - The Violence Of Amateurs CD (album) cover


French TV



4.23 | 89 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Mike Sary (bass player) is the one member who has been with this band from the beginning. Yes, you could say this is his band. You have to read his liner notes. Some of the funniest stuff I have read. The music seems to sample many genres, and at times it's just a taste that we get before they move on to something else. No this isn't for everybody, it helps to be a little off center.

"The Kokonino Stomp" opens with horns that bring to mind the "Big band" era. A lot of quick stop and go moments. Flute then comes in bringing a stable calm. At this point i'm saying "please don't leave me", but the flute leaves anyway as we get more crazy passages. A banjo solo, some ragtime piano, and a swinging band sound that could have come from the thirties. A brief vocal melody only adds to the lunacy. That flute does come back though. "The Secret Life Of Walter Riddle" opens with people whistling like they are going off to work. Hmmm. A good rhythm follows. Some great guitar 3 minutes in that goes on and on. Around 5 minutes we get some dissonant sax sounds. The rhythm returns 6 1/2 minutes in with lots of clarinet and sax to follow. "The Odessa Steps Sequence" is a cover of a VOLARE song. Actually VOLARE's drummer plays on this tune. He guests on the previous song, and he is outstanding on the final track as well. It opens with some tasteful guitar as synths create a spacey backdrop. Drums become prominant 3 1/2 minutes in. Nice sound. A change a minute later as it becomes more uptempo with synths. A beautiful flute solo arrives. Some blistering guitar after 7 minutes. I really like this song.

"Mail Order Quarks" opens with some nice calm sax melodies.The song changes before 3 minutes as gentle guitar and flute come in. Vibes, light drums, violin and percussion follow. The song builds with flute leading the way. The bass is good 8 minutes in. We get back to the original melody 9 1/2 minutes in. Nice. These last two tracks are amazing, and so different from the first two. "Tiger Tea" opens with drums and then percussion giving us an island beat. Sax comes in and bass. The guitar is playing angular notes. Flute later with synths has a calming effect before it picks back up with drums and sax. The guitar becomes aggressive. The changes continue to be unrelenting. "Joosan Lost / The Fate" is a cover of a ZAMLA MAMMAS MANNA song. This is over 21 minutes in length. If you notice, the songs just keep getting longer as the album goes on. The beginning of this track is so catchy. The drums beat away as the guitar seems to sing along with joy. The song changes 5 1/2 minutes in as it slows right down, different sounds are coming and going 7 minutes in. Some dark piano melodies fade in and out. We then a get a spacey, atmospheric passage that is kind of spooky. Angular guitar starts to rise out of it with drums in tow. This sounds great ! The guitar and drums start to go ballistic ! A tip of the hat to Dean Zigoris on guitar and Brian Donohoe on drums. The original melody returns 18 minutes in and it's still very catchy with some scorching guitar.

There is a lot of variety on this album to say the least. The first two songs for me are the most difficult to enjoy, the most challenging songs. The rest is simply incredible. A solid 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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