Atomic Bomb Audition — Eleven Theatres
(Hector Stentor hs04, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01Hailing from Oakland (always a good thing!), ABA is essentially an instrumental g/b/d trio with each member playing various additional instruments (electric sitar, Theremin, samplers, organ, synth, piano guts, etc.) plus a fourth member dedicated to signal processing, sound manipulation, and such. The latter is a most important element, as there are sections where much of the sound is heavily processed into a chaotic organic swirl, yet still recognizable by the instruments that produced it. Theremin makes its first appearance early on, followed by an aggressive, snarly, almost-punk piece in odd time, completely saturated in heavy distortion. "Apocalypse Dove Song" slows the pace down a bit and brings back the heavy processing. At that point one realizes there's a lot more than the basic three at work here, when saxes and trumpet make their entrance, capably supplied by guest musicians, and it becomes clear how bizarre sounding this band can get, occasionally even reminding of The Residents in their heyday, although Mr. Bungle is a more obvious reference point. All of the writing is very unconventional. Eight minutes of "Banda Aceh" underscore this also, from its take on surf beat to the siren-like Theremin musings over squeaks and found sounds. But eventually some ideas start repeating, and just because you can make a 72-minute CD doesn't mean you should; as the disc plays on past the 40 minute mark, one realizes that much of this could have been presented more concisely. Still, a very promising debut.
Related artist(s): The Atomic Bomb Audition
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more