Self-Loathing Joe – The Bob Lazar Story
The 5th release by The Bob Lazar Story is another remarkable EP done in much of the same musical style of prog rock and fusion of its predecessor Ghost Of Foodstool. Self-Loathing Joe features the usual simplistic artwork for the album cover and once again comes in the choice of a digital download for $5 or a physical CD with a free Fridge Magnet for $12.
Only 2 of the band members Matt Deacon on guitars, soft synths, and Chris Jago on drums feature on this release and the bands 6th album Baritonia and it appears that their long time bass player Mike Fudakowski is no longer with them.
All music composed by Matt Deacon & Chris Jago. Except for tracks 1 & 7 by Matt Deacon.
Matt Deacon – Guitars & Mouse.
Chris Jago – Drums.
Tanya Didham – Vocals (On Track 6)
Zeke Deacon – Other Vocals.
Self-Loathing Joe (EP) Review…
The EP Self-Loathing Joe by The Bob Lazar Story was released on the 23rd August 2015. It contains 7 tracks mostly instrumental over a playing time of 20 minutes and 24 seconds. Musically the material is perhaps a bit more driven and more up pace with its tempo in relation to the bands previous EP Ghost Of Foodstool.
But never the less still has the same great style and feel about it, even down to how the tracks work in the same way as a nonstop album. It also works a lot better for it not sounding too midi-fied in the keyboard department in relation to all the 4 previous releases.
Track 1. Harmonics.
The opening track is a very short 16 second intro of overdubbed harmonics played by Matt on his guitar. It’s a very sweet way to kick off the mini album and a nice little touch.
Track 2. Don Branch Venom.
A purely brilliant piece of work when it comes to diversity and chord progression at its utmost best. This is without a doubt the best structured piece of music on the album. But then again I am pretty sure I could say the same about the tracks that are about to follow it as well.
“Don Branch Venom” is a piece that very much throws you into the action right from the start. It kicks off with its superb heavy guitars and the sound of them is very familiar to the great driving sound that can be found on King Crimson’s album Red. Oddly enough the guitar riff reminds me a bit like “Facts Of Life” from their Power To Believe album. You will even hear Zeke Deacon going ooh on it :)))))).
But that’s only the beginning of the track and this one weaves it’s way along superbly in many directions. The use of the clav in the keyboard department is very Gentle Giant like, has too are the super fast sharp changes. Has it progresses along it’s like listening to a cross between Gryphon’s Red Queen To Gryphon Three album and Sky’s self titled debut album.
To be perfectly honest this track is a massive contender for the top spot on the album, and it was very hard for me to surrender the spot to another track on the album. This is without a doubt Progressive Rock in its finest form.
Track 3. No Wait. Yes Chips.
Once again the opening guitar riff on this track reminds me a bit like King Crimson’s “Facts Of Life“ from their Power To Believe album. The track also features superb progression very Frank Zappa and Gentle Giant like. It also has a sense of drama about it especially with the keyboard work and even features and haunting creepy saw like synth. Both Matt’s guitar work and Chris’s drums feature superbly in the piece.
The strange title oddly enough has me thinking of my time in Australia and I wonder if New Zealand is the same regarding their Fish n’ Chip Shops :)))))).
I know that Matt went back to his home town Liverpool for a year to do some taxi driving to make some extra cash whilst living in New Zealand to which is where he now still lives.
But whilst I was in Australia I could not believe how long I had to wait to get a bag of chips from a chippy over there. They like to cook everything fresh and they do not even cook what you order till your turn comes up at the counter. Nothing like here in England and there is “No Wait” and you do get your chips a hell of a lot faster. “Yes Chips” :))))))))).
Very much another contender for the top spot on the album.
Track 4. Self-Loathing Joe.
The self titled mini album track is another superb piece of work. It’s perhaps more constructed around the great keyboard work in the piece. Both the guitars and drums are once again superbly executed into it all, and this one not only has power in parts, but it also has a soothed, relaxed laid back feel to it as well.
There is no doubt that every track follows each other superbly on this album, and most of the tracks on it are all pretty much contenders for the top spot.
Track 5. Foodstool Exacts Revenge Upon Gilchrist The Traitor.
Another adventure with Matt’s “Foodstool” that tends to always get a spot on one of his albums or mini albums. Man if I could make music like this guy does I would get one myself and give it my dinner every day :)))))))))).
This is another superbly structured piece of music that features lashings of great keys, guitars and drums all done in that familiar style of Frank Zappa. This is perhaps my most favourite of all the Foodstool adventures too, and is another top contender for the top spot on the album.
Track 6. Ezekiel II.
The 6th track on the album is very much my favourite track on the album and grabs the top spot for me. It’s opening riff is very infectious and grabs you immediately. It builds itself along superbly with the use of heavier guitars adding to the equation and some fine melodies on the hammond organ. It’s the longest track on the album and 1 second under the 9 minute mark, and this infectious intro takes up 3 minutes of it.
Then in comes Tanya Didham at first moaning and groaning :)))))))). It actually sounds like she has several clones of her as well and they are all in some cave moaning to get out I think :)))))).
This whole change and section is very well done how it’s been mixed so well too. Especially with the use of the repetitive guitar riff that can be faintly heard at first which gets followed by some nice notes on the synth to accompany Tanya has she recites some words that describe Ezekiel’s Chariot so very well.
The fine notes on the synth continue and has Tanya’s voice starts to fade out around the 5 minute mark some excellent hammond organ builds its way up superbly. Then in comes some very tasty slide guitar that is very Pink Floyd like and then around the 6 and half minute mark the acoustic guitar blends into the equation superbly followed by some tremolo guitar lines, it really is superbly done.
It finally rounds itself off beautifully on the acoustic guitar on its own and brings it to an end wonderfully.
Track 7. Scinomrah.
The shortest track on the album by 1 second puts an end to this superb EP and it’s merely a reverse effect. Maybe it’s telling me to rewind the EP and stick it back on :)))))))))). I can tell you that I have several times too.
Once again The Bob Lazar Story have produced another truly superb Gem of an EP in the world of Progressive Rock. You get 20 minutes of pure bliss with the EP Self-Loathing Joe and playing this mini album from start to finish is mind blowingly very exciting. It will have you give it repeated plays again and again.
To be perfectly honest when I look at all the new mainstream artists out there today such has the likes of Frost*. Magenta. Haken. Riverside and so on. There is no doubt that those bands are more of your neo prog rock unlike progressive rock which this very much is 100%. The only other new band I can think of who I would class has doing genuine prog rock out there today is Anglagard.
Considering there is no Mike Fudakowski on the bass. Both Matt Deacon and Chris Jago have done extremely well to make this still work so well. I quite liked Mike and he was another very talented musician and great part of the bands line up. But no doubt even without Mike. The Bob Lazar Story are still very infectious and are still a powerful force that can deliver the goods.
Most progressive rock albums come with really great artwork to try and make it more appealing for the person to go out and buy it.
The Bob Lazar Story does not need make up to make the music stand out and speak in the way that it does so very well in the world of prog rock. I rather think that cup on the front of the cover here, contains vintage wine and the EP Self-Loathing Joe would certainly be a lot more than a cup of tea when it comes to prog rock.
To conclude my review of the EP Self-Loathing Joe by The Bob Lazar Story. I have to say it’s worth its weight in Gold with the material you are getting here. It’s up there with the very best in the world of Prog Rock and Fusion. It’s one very exiting EP and another superb fine body of work. For me personally this is my ultimate favourite of all 6 releases The Bob Lazar Story has put out so far.
You can listen to or grab your own personal copy of Self-Loafing Joe here : https://theboblazarstory.bandcamp.com/album/self-loathing-joe
The track listing of the album is as follows: