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Mike Keneally & Beer for Dolphins — Sluggo! Deluxe
(Exowax EX-2305-1, 1997/2013, CD+2DVD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-09-18

Sluggo! Deluxe Cover artThere is a recent trend in reissuing albums these days, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, etc., where the reissue includes DVDs containing the original mix, lossless mixes, as well as 5.1 surround sound versions. Not having the necessary equipment and given my old ears, these additional DVDs are lost on me. I definitely cannot discern the sonic differences. So I will focus on the reissued CD. And not being familiar with the original 1997 release, it is difficult for me to compare and contrast it with this reissue. What I do note is that Sluggo! is a mixture of pop rock, rock, and Zappa-influenced jazz-rock instrumentals and songs. The original 16 tracks are here along with two bonus tracks, “Craney” and “Bob Dylan’s Nose.” I think that you have to be in the right mood for this music. The disc is packed with so many different ideas and intermittent Zappa weirdness that it is a bit difficult to enjoy in its entirety. A song that does stand out for me is “Chatfield Manor.” This is a mostly instrumental song with some excellent guitar passages. Another track that grows on you is “Egg Zooming.” In my opinion, Sluggo! is best savored in small doses to give your mind and ears a rest, though there are some quiet interludes scattered about the disc. Then there is the title track, which is a combination of boogie-woogie and jazz piano. So if you enjoy intelligent and expertly executed electric guitar-driven progressive jazz fusion with some experimental bits thrown in here and there, Sluggo! is a perfect addition to your collection.

Filed under: Reissues, 2013 releases, 1997 recordings

Related artist(s): Mike Keneally

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