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Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Admonishing The Bishops CD (album) cover


Thinking Fellers Union Local 282



3.91 | 4 ratings

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4 stars Sadly, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 hasn't put out any new releases since 2001. I have hardly even heard of them. I always thought they were just another alternative rock group. But, I got this EP after hearing that they were an Avant-Prog band, which was a surprise to me in and of itself. I am always looking for new stuff and I always seem to be attracted to music that is original and daring. I have found a lot of great bands that way. And this is one of them.

I have to say that I haven't heard much by them before I played this EP for the first time. There are only 4 songs on here, so I figured I wouldn't be out much if I didn't like them. When the album finished, all I wanted was to hear more. Now I wish this EP was longer than it is, and because of this EP, I will be looking into their music a lot more.

It starts off with the longest track at over 6 minutes, and initially, it starts with a typical guitar strum/riff that sounds Alternative. This lasts for a total of two bars. Suddenly, dissonance comes in and it makes your ears immediately perk up. It only gets better when the vocals start, totally not the norm. The song continues with interchanging instrumental breaks and vocals. it almost sounds like it is going to go into post rock territory, but then it doesn't. There is a great bass riff, then guitars crash in, sounding like they are being tortured, but not to the point of being obnoxious. As it continues, you know you are in different territory and totally atypical. Dissonance and melodic at the same time.

Next up is "Undertaker" which starts out with two guitars totally in sync and totally out of tune with each other. This turns into Primus style chaos as other instruments join in. But the drums sound like something out of the Violent Femmes catalogue. And the voice is incredible when he does the falsetto thing totally out of nowhere. The guitar break is excellent. The chaos ensues. "Million Dollars" is more mellow, and the singing is underwhelming, but that is what makes this track so great. You know, the same way that Velvet Underground was so intriguing. But then out of nowhere, a strung out guitar riff that just doesn't belong, yet it really does. The harmonies also sound like they were half-baked, which is so awesome. It's all kind of funny but serious at the same time.

The last track is "Father". This starts out really strange and out there, the singing is totally off like it's supposed to be. I thought this was just a little over the top in weirdness when I first heard it, but now I really appreciate it. Then there is a mid- tempo standard rhythm going on which makes absolutely no sense with anything else. Before that wears itself out, things slow down a bit and there are some really dissonant and cool harmonies. Then what sounds like a banjo comes out of nowhere.

I know all of this sounds strange, but it is so great. It is considered Noise Rock or Avant Prog. I don't know about the noise part, at least on this EP, but there are definitely some "not-normal" harmonies and "way-out-there" things going on here. Nothing, except for the first few seconds, is normal about this. Yet it is a lot more listenable than you might think. This is one EP and one band that definitely needs to be investigated. A good way to try them out is through an EP, then you are not out much if you don't like it. But, it's that kind of practice that has helped me find some great talent, like this band, hat I want to hear more from. It's a shame they haven't done a lot lately. 4 stars, and it would have probably been 5 stars if it wasn't so short.

TCat | 4/5 |


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