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


French TV



4.23 | 91 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Really excellent and enjoyable album not exclusively for RIO & AVANT PROG fans (4 1/2 stars)!

This album by US Band French TV is one of the most enjoyable and funny RIO albums I've ever listened (many thanks to Diddy for providing this one to me). You realize immediately that bass player Mike Sary and the musicians he gathered around him love Progressive Rock but instead of taking it completely serious they're dealing with this music genre showing an incredible amount of humour. Although the mix of styles is at times really adventurous bringing a bit of Mr. Bungle (whose music I usually don't enjoy that much BTW) into one's mind, the degree of oddity and weirdness never reaches an unbearable level.

The opener The Kokonino Stomp is already the best example for their funny humour, groovy disrupted jazz lines on guitar and sax combined with strange keyboard sounds like ringing, tooting etc., then a solo on banjo and bar piano sound before they include a short funny nonsense vocal part. Really a stunningly great piece. Next highlight The Secret Life Of Walter Riddle starts with an oddly whistled marsh and continues with an awesome mix of jazz and hardrock having some strange sounds in between like barking and yowling. Then some encore after the question "Are you ready for more music?". Just great and although it's quite weird stuff it's still rather accessible. The Odessa Steps Sequence is the first of two cover songs they've included here. Originally played by the band Volare whose drummer Brian Donahue is playing on here in two tracks as well, it's actually the only one on this album in a convential prog vein, but not without offering some quite intricate music especially in its second part. As well a fantastic track and a welcome break from weirdness. Next one Mail Order Quarks is more a soft and pending jazz rock piece with sax in its first part and acoustic guitar, flute, vibes, violin and percussion in its second one. Initially a very nice and dreamy one but with an excellent progression towards its end. Very nice one but now it's time to come back to some more crazy stuff with Tiger Tea starting with some Caribbean feeling and overall in a similar vein as the second track, an odd, funny and jazzy piece. Joosan Lost/The Fate is the second cover song taken from Swedish band Zamla Mammas Manna but perfectly adapted to their typical style and lasting more than 20 minutes. This one starts with a funny tango-alike sound that segues slowly into a lengthy part filled with a fiercely performed accumulation of all kind of free form music with spacey sounds before it returns to the initial theme. Another highlight of this great album.

As a SUMMARY I can say that The Violence Of Amateurs is an absolute excellent RIO album showing great musicianship. I'm almost seduced rating it with 5 stars, but since not all the compositions are originally by them, it would be overrated. Anyway an excellent addition to any prog collection and I'm giving it 4,5 stars!

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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