Vacuum Tree Head — Thirteen!
(Pest Colors 42.13, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01
Once one of the most prolific outfits around (when the band was based in San Jose, California, they put out no less than 10 CDs between ’93 and ’99), their output has slowed down considerably in recent years – possibly because the members are now separated geographically across the country – but the quality is as good as ever. The album at hand evolved over a period of seven years, and it may well be their best effort to date. Mainstays Jason Berry (keyboards, woodwinds, electronics, etc.) and Michael De Le Cuesta (mostly guitars) along with guitarist Charles Llloyd and drummer Justin Markovitz are joined by a large cast of additional players and vocalists, track depending, for this interesting and compelling brew of diverse and highly energized avant-garde rock, with lyrics split between English, Spanish, and Filipino. The compositions are tightly arranged, condensed into a short song format, seemingly informed by punk, RIO, psychedelic rock, world-pop, and just about anything else one can think of. Few of the fifteen cuts last longer than two minutes (with several under one minute), but almost any of them can get stuck in your mind for days after hearing them even once! Singers Sylvia Gordon and Lucy Foley appear (separately) on many of the cuts herein, and their vocal presence adds a touch that might occasionally remind the listener of Thinking Plague – well, just a little; Vacuum Tree Head really has their own thing going, and this latest release is definitely worthy of your attention.
Related artist(s): Vacuum Tree Head / Nubdug Ensemble
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more