Blast — Wire Stitched Ears
(Cuneiform Rune 71, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01
A Dutch quartet of guitar, bass, drums and woodwinds, this is Blast's second release (the first being the hopelessly obscure Puristsirup from 1993), and the first for Cuneiform. While their music is ostensibly rock based, they seem to pull more than their share of influence from the more recent proponents of 'chamber rock,' the early abstractions of Henry Cow, and perhaps even a touch of the downtown sound of bands like Doctor Nerve. The music is tightly composed within polyrhythmic structures, yet alludes to that improvisational spirit. Their jagged aggression, free use of dissonance, and well-focused complexity demands the listener's attention and involvement. A few of the tracks have some bizarre incidental lyrics sung in an equally appropriate manner. Overall, if one can appreciate the extremes of precision and complexity, along with an open minded sense of melodics and counterpoint, then this is the real stuff. Fans of Cow, Zappa, and modern chamber rock should find much here to enjoy.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more