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Happy Family - Toscco CD (album) cover


Happy Family



3.86 | 122 ratings

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4 stars The opener alone should be an indication as to how wonderful of an album you let yourself into. ''The Great Man'' has to be one of the best ideas laid to tape as the spectacular oboe-like melodies float over your head while the guitars go for the heavy. The rest of TOSCCO doesn't quite live up to the reputation of ''The Great Man'', but Happy Family tries.

Even if the whole of TOSCCO is very avant-garde, mushy and brutal, there always one little melody or line that will stick in your head for some time. The start-stop feel of ''He Is Coming at Tokyo Station'' lets you know the Zeuhl train has arrived and in brutal form. Follow that with ''Picture Book'' and it's funky synths and crashing, trashing metal later on, and you've got a winner. ''Overdrive Locomotive'' is as brutal as it implies, and the metal continues on ''Nord Company'' and ''Filial Piety'' with the latter opening on a memorable wah-guitar line.

Shame that the two longer tracks leave a lot to be desired. ''The Sushi Bar'' may not have bad manners or a bad face, but the taste of nearly twelve minutes isn't exactly pleasing even if the first notable melody is soothing. ''The Three Leaves Insect'' is very epic in nature, but it takes so long to get going that by the time we have gotten somewhere, I've lost interest. Thankfully, a reprise of ''The Great Man'' caps the album on a high note.

This is intense, brutal Zeuhl metal with the occasional foray into RIO, jazz and prog structures. Best yet, TOSCCO isn't a diarrhea mess of complexity even if the sounds make that implication. The description of the ''Toscco'' is quite interesting (see liner notes) even if I can't make heads or tails of it.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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