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Snakefinger - Manual Of Errors CD (album) cover





3.96 | 7 ratings

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5 stars This is the first album SNAKEFINGER released with the band that later became known as the VESTAL VIRGINS, and it is interesting to note just how much of the otherworldly atmosphere that permeates his earlier recordings with THE RESIDENTS carries over into this new combo's sound. It makes one wonder how much SNAKEFINGER himself was responsible for that SAN MATEO SOUND? That said, this record is more accessible than his collaborations with THE RESIDENTS overall, partly because it is less dischordant. It's also probably fair to say that the VESTAL VIRGINS' level of musicianship is higher than that of THE RESIDENTS. One listen to BEATNIK PARTY for example confirms that this band can really cook! Most of the songs lyrically explore darkly paranoid themes that will be familiar to followers of his earlier work, but the music is surprisingly eclectic, and includes some curious covers. THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS, originally recorded by THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, is a brilliant choice. Its hallucinogenic imagery melds seamlessly with SNAKEFINGER's originals, but NINO ROTA's instrumental, SHINING FACES, seems to be a mischievous inclusion. Musically, the album goes from dark and haunting avante garde to slick jazz to Hendrixesque electric blues and explores a few odd cul-de-sacs along the way before wrapping up with the psychodelic grande finale of PRIVATE UNIVERSE/THE LIFE ON NEBULOV (there are five extra tracks included on the CD re- release, not reviewed here). This is one of my all time favourite albums, recorded by a wiked guitarist at the height of his creativity. It's Jimmy Hendrix meets William S Burroughs, so it's not for everybody, but hey, that leaves more for us! Outstanding. Five stars.
MartyX | 5/5 |


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