Exposé Online banner

Gutbucket — Flock
(Cuneiform Rune 321, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, 2013-04-01:

Flock Cover art I saw Gutbucket play much of this material live before I heard the CD. The band is pretty impressive live, with all the music's crazy twists and turns executed with seamless skill and great energy. For the studio versions of the tunes, the performances are a bit more precise and varied, but still energetic. Though without the visual element of sax player Ken Thomson bouncing around the stage like a subatomic particle subject to magnetic forces unseen to human eyes. The music fits in that odd spot where it's maybe not jazz, but also not not jazz. Which makes it jazz in my book, since I'm not a purist. Aside from Thomson's acrobatic saxes, it's Ty Citerman's guitar that stands out, and is really the wild card in their deck - he favors dissonance over anything you might find on a chord chart. Gutbucket is not as abrasive to my ears as some of John Zorn's work, but they're definitely in the same ballpark. The sax melodies even have a klezmer-like quality to them at times. One of my favorite moments is when the lunatic stuttering rhythms of "d0g Help Us" give way to the long cathartic tones of "Murakami." That's a sweet bit of programming there, providing some balance between poles that are widely separated. Another big difference this recording has from the live show is the use of expanded instrumentation. Thomson handles nearly every variety of saxophone and clarinet possible, and bassist Eric Rockwin adds touches of cello and keyboards from time to time; drummer Adam Gold also contributes some electric piano. All in all, an outstanding release, though probably not to everyone's taste.

by Henry Schneider, 2013-04-01:

Gutbucket has been around for about 12 years and Flock is their sixth release of indie, math rock, and jazz music. The four members Ty Citerman (electric guitar), Eric Rockwin (electric upright bass), Ken Thomson (saxophone), and Adam D. Gold (drums) play rhythmically complex jazz-rock music with extended dissonant chords. You can easily detect the influence of Robert Fripp in their approach. Most of the 11 tracks are aggressive compositions that will take a dedicated listener to make it through the entire disc. There are so many things going on at different levels, each musician is exploring a different path that is all somehow coordinated. At times you can even detect something that resembles a melody. In addition to the odd time signatures, there are odd ball song titles, for example "d0g Help Us," "Zero Is Short for Idiot," and "Said the Trapeze to Gravity (Why Are You So Old?)." These titles do seem a bit contrived and do not appear to correlate in any obvious way with the music. The coolest thing about this release is the cover art of a sheep sitting on a cloud and knitting a club tie from its own fleece. But I am not sure how that relates to the music either. Probably the best music on the disc is the three-part "Born Again Atheist Suite." This suite, for me, is the most approachable of the set and worth the price of the disc.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 40 , 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Gutbucket

More info

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Court - And You'll Follow the Winds Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells – From the opening notes of "Rising the Tale" – a short instrumental interlude that opens the disc, it's apparent that this new Italian neo-progressive band has traveled a different...  (1994) » Read more

Jeff Greinke - Big Weather – I'm very picky when it comes to electronic music. If I like an artist in this vein (like Lightwave, Klaus Schulze, Steve Roach, or Robert Rich) I tend to really get into it. Greinke is an artist that...  (1994) » Read more

Bruce Palmer - The Cycle Is Complete – Bruce Palmer is part of one of rock's most famous stories. He and Neil Young, fresh out of the Mynah Birds, drove a hearse to Los Angeles looking for Stephen Stills to found Buffalo Springfield....  (2007) » Read more

Electropolis - Electropolis – A quartet of bass, percussion, electrosax, and electrumpet, Electropolis produces eleven tracks of interesting jazzy rock on what I believe is their debut. The amplified instruments produce some odd...  (2006) » Read more

Ultimate Spinach - Ultimate Spinach, Behold & See & III – Long before the British domination of all things progressive, progress was being made in the post-San Francisco underground scene in many US cities, among them Boston. The fact that producer Alan...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues