Exposé Online banner

Cucamonga — Alter Huevo
(AltrOck Productions ALT024, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

Alter Huevo Cover artAlter Huevo kicks off with a goofy carnival polka arranged for marimba, accordion, and electric piano. Not much later, some odd vocal noises make an appearance, and then the band jumps into a cool jazz-rock section led by guitar and sax. The rhythm section has a precise quality that reminds me of classic Canterbury bands like National Health; there are also occasional echoes of the jazzy instrumental side of Frank Zappa. The compositions tend to wander around in a wonderful unpredictable way without seeming jarring or incongruous. The musicianship is superb but not flashy, and there's a lot of inventiveness on display. The guitar has some downright freaky effects on it from time to time. Frequent use of mallet percussion enhances the Zappa resemblance (which is intentional, as the band's name refers to the California town where Zappa recorded). The bulk of the compositions come from guitarist Oscar Peralta, which might be surprising given how much the keyboards really define the band's sound. But it's really the compositions that are the star attraction, with their oddball twists and turns, their weird little diversions into insanity. For listeners whose shirts are overly stuffed, the occasional funny voices may prove fatal, but they shouldn't count as a negative for more flexible listeners. They are, after all, a fairly minor part of the mix. An outstanding discovery, worthy of wider notice.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Cucamonga

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nik Turner - Past or Future? – Hawkwind fans listen up! This is the live document from last summer’s “Space Ritual” tour. Saxophonist, vocalist and founding Hawkwind member Turner is joined by other Hawk-alumni Simon House...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues