Humble Grumble — Guzzle It Up!
(AltrOck Productions ALT-032, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-10Named for bandleader and guitarist Gabor Humble, this Belgian octet’s second release is a fairly bizarre undertaking, mixing brilliant playing, off-kilter arrangements, and goofy, sometimes troubling lyrics into a sort-of euro-folk based strange stew informed by jazz, rock, Zappa-esque elements, and a number of other things that never quite mesh together smoothly, but still make for an interesting and unique listen. Humble, who is also the main songwriter and singer, is joined by two dedicated female vocalists, and five other players that cover bass clarinet, saxophones, bass, keyboards, vibraphone, drums and percussion. The primary role for woodwinds and vibraphone give their sound a unique jazzy contour that, when applied to the folky core, makes for some pretty unusual sounds that are like no other bands I can think of right off hand. “The Dancing Dinosaur” even has some country-ish moments that mix in, while some of the other cuts seem to have bits of klezmer and polka popping up here and there. The vocal power presented by the three singers is mighty impressive, yet the lyrics will just leave you scratching your head in bewilderment. Even though this basket full of seemingly random styles never really blends that smoothly across these seven tracks, the caliber of the musicianship throughout is amazing, and adventurous listeners will find plenty here to enjoy.
Related artist(s): Humble Grumble
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
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
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
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
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