Lee Speaks About Music… #44

THRAK (40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition) – King Crimson

KC - T

Introduction…

A decade had passed by since the release of the 1984 album Three Of A Perfect Pair and in 1994 Robert Fripp decided it was time for King Crimson to re-emerge once again. He did so by using the exact line up from the 80’s and adding two other musicians to it, and formed what was known as a double trio. Once again they too was also Americans.

The band already had two guitarists with Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew and Fripp must of somehow thought it was only fair to bring in another bassist and drummer.

To accompany Tony Levin on the bass the Texan born War Guitar and Stick player Trey Gunn was brought in. Gunn was no stranger to Fripp at the time and had played with him in the mid 80’s in The League Of Crafty Guitarists. He also appeared on Toyah Wilcox’s 1991 solo album Ophelia’s Shadow.

Fripp married Wilcox back in 1986 and in the same year of 1991 Fripp, Wilcox and Gunn also formed a band together called Sunday All Over the World and they made their one and only album in the same year entitled Kneeling at the Shrine.

Gunn had also played with Fripp on a couple of albums that Fripp had done in collaboration with  David Sylvian. Both the albums they done was released in 1993. Gunn had also been a solo artist in his own right since 1985 and had played with many other bands and artists as a session player.

To accompany Bill Bruford on drums Fripp brought in the California drummer from the pop band Mr. Mister who was a guy known as Pat Mastelotto. So just how did a pop drummer get into a band like King Crimson one might ask?. Well it was down to a bit of sheer luck and determination by Mastelotto himself.

Mastelotto‘s career goes back to the 70’s where he was a session player and got to play for quite a few well known artists before the band Mr. Mister were assembled in the 80’s. Oddly enough he was also a fan of King Crimson back in the 70’s, and when he was 17 he got to see them play live in 1973. Since then it was sort of a long time ambition and dream to get to play for them.

Has the story goes it all came about from an ad placed in an LA newspaper Mastelotto had spotted of some guy wanting to trade a Leslie Cabinet for some gear. Mastelotto had on occasions hired a Leslie Cabinet for use on his drums with his band from time to time, and he thought it would be a good idea to have one himself. So he traded a compressor for it, and the guy he traded it with happened to be a guitarist who had played with the The League Of Crafty Guitarists.

This guy he did the trade with also happened to be a good friend of Trey Gunn and it was during the time both Gunn and Fripp were working with David Sylvian that they were planning to go on a live tour, but they were having some problems with the drummer Jerry Marotta who played for them on the both albums they made. Basically he did not want to go on a live tour with them.

The guy told Mastelotto that he might be interested and he quickly asked the guy for Gunn’s phone number to see if he could get the job so to speak.

It was on a Friday that Mastelotto made the call to Gunn asking for the managements contact number to see if he could get an audition. Has Gunn had never heard of him he told him not to bother, and that he would be wasting his time. Especially as the auditions were taking part in England on the following Wednesday. But Mastelotto persisted and not even knowing he would get the job, he still took the chance and flew to England for the audition.

Their were quite a few drummers on the day auditioning to play on the tour including ex King Crimson member Michael Giles who was such an inspiration to Mastelotto. He even got to have a chat with him has he was up next after Mastelotto had played is audition.

It was at this point that he thought he had not got the job. But the decision had to come from both Fripp and Sylvian and luckily for him he did get it.

When Fripp was putting together this 5th incarnation of King Crimson he originally wanted Jerry Marotta to partner alongside Bruford. But he turned the job down and that’s how Mastelotto ended up being in this line up of King Crimson.

Prior to the release of King Crimson’s 11th studio album THRAK in 1995 the band made a mini album in the previous year entitled VROOOM. Much of the material from that ended up on the full blown album we have here.

The 40th Anniversary Edition Release…

The 40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition of King Crimson’s 10th studio album THRAK was released in October 2015. It was also released in the form of a 12 Disc Box Set in the following month of November. The Box Set is still available to buy at around the price of £114. I myself opted for the much cheaper CD/DVD version and purchased it from Amazon for £14.89.

The Packaging & Artwork…

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The packing is constructed out of the same material as with all these 40th Anniversary editions. They have been done slightly more on the cheap, but never the less do the job and look presentable. The booklet is also quite informative in relation to many others in these 40th Anniversary editions.

The artwork was done by Bill Smith though there is no information regarding what it is supposed to be. My own theory is that its perhaps a piece of corroded or broken metal from a car,  the car bonnet perhaps. Whatever it actually is it could also of been used to say that the album THRAK was heavier and more dense with the material they wrote for it, and it was verging more towards the genre of Metal in some parts.

Beat (40th Anniversary CD/DVD) Review…

The 40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition of THRAK by King Crimson comes with a CD that contains the new 2015 mixes of the album mixed by Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp and Steve Wilson was not available for the mixes on this release. It also comes with a DVD that contains additional bonus material, but very little in the way of any real extras.

The CD.

Speaking of very little extras. The CD does contain the new mixes of the original tracks from the album, but absolutely nothing in the way of any bonus tracks. I will say the new mixes do sound superb though.

The DVD.

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The DVD Menu presents you with the option choices above to choose from and I must say that they went a little overboard here with them. This is because the last two choices in the list here are exactly the same as the first two on the list.

There is no difference at all simply because if you press the top selection “Play THRAK 2015” the next screen will present you with the same screen you get by pressing on the “THRAK 2015 (track list). So it was rather silly of them putting the last two items on the menu here at all.

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By pressing on the “Audio Setup” on the main menu it presents with the choice of audio. By default its set LPCM Stereo. Both the stereo and 5.1 mixes are of the highest quality of 24/96K.

The DVD also contains the 30th Anniversary Edition which is the original album that  was remastered in 2002. This is only other bonus that comes with the DVD and comes with an audio format of 24/48K.

The 5.1 Mix.

No Steve Wilson for the 5.1 mix here and it was done by Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp from the new remixes they done. I have to say I am just as impressed by the 5.1 mix and they have both done a staggering job with them.

Musicians & Credits…

Original album produced by King Crimson and David Bottrill. Engineer David Bottrill. Assistant recording engineer Russell Kearney. Original THRAK artwork Bill Smith. Package art cover design by Hugh O’ Donnell. Photography Tony Levin. Production assistant and digital editor David Singleton. Equipment and strategic services liaison John Sinks. Recorded at Real World Studios. Bath. England.

Personnel:
Robert Fripp: Guitar/Soundscapes/Mellotron.
Adrian Belew: Guitar/Voice/Words.
Tony Levin: Upright & Electric Basses/Backing Vocals.
Trey Gunn: Stick/Backing Vocals.
Bill Bruford: Acoustic & Electronic Percussions.
Pat Mastelotto: Acoustic & Electronic Percussions.

The Original Album Tracks Review…

The original album THRAK by King Crimson was released on the 3rd April 1995. The album was made up of 8 vocal tracks and 7 instrumentals making a total of 15 tracks all together, and had a playing time of 56 minutes 37 seconds.

Has to what the album’s title of THRAK means I honestly could not tell you. The one person you never want to ask either is Robert Fripp himself. Otherwise you will be there for an hour and half listening to him give you a lecture about it, and at the end you still will not get an answer (LOL).

3 of the most popular answers has to what the word means I found came from the THRAK Live Tour Programme and they was all quoted by Robert Fripp. They are as follows:

1. 56 minutes and 37 seconds of songs and music about love, dying, redemption and mature guys who get erections.

2. A sudden and precise impact moving from intention, direction and commitment, in service of an aim.

3. The sound of 117 guitars almost striking the same chord simultaneously.

In my research I also came across answer from another source stating that it was the word he gave to his Mellotron. I am sure whatever it means Fripp will take it with him to his grave.

The one thing I can tell you myself is that there is no doubt that King Crimson were once again a force and made a remarkable comeback since their last release of Three Of A Perfect Pair back in 1984. The break had done them the world of good. A break is perhaps what they should of had after making their 1991 album Discipline in all respects.

The material that was written for THRAK if anything was a carbon copy of the album Discipline and once again the band had found the right formula regarding song writing and come up with the goods.

Track 1. Vrooom.

The first of the 7 instrumental tracks on the album opens up with the mellotron playing a short intro that is reminiscent with the 40’s it even sounds like it’s coming from one of those old wooden vintage radios. The intro lasts all of 27 seconds and then it unleashes it’s heavy power upon you and explodes into action.

The piece features heavy guitar riffs that are familiar with older tracks such as “Larks’ Talk In Aspic Part 2” and “Red“. Clanking heavy drums and percussion familiar with the stone age and the Flintsones bashing around in Bedrock and bass lines that make great deep grooves on vinyl records. It also has a lovely melodic come down section in the middle too and is a superb track.

It’s also a none stop track and Bruford’s roll on the drums at the end lead it into the next track very well too. “Vrooom” is very much a contender for the top spot on the album and is as good as those older tracks I mentioned too.

Track 2. Coda: Marine 475.

The tailspin from the opening track is a coda. Originally this piece was also part of the opening track “Vrooom” that was on the mini album that they released before this album. For this album they decided to make it into 2 tracks instead of the 1. Nothing as been altered either.

Even though it’s not marked down as an instrumental piece, it’s not a song either, and merely the voice is used here to speak out some numbers relating to the title. The numbers on a co-ordinance map perhaps and its sort of like being in a submarine with its dramatic approach.

Track 3. Dinosaur.

The first of the songs on the album also happens to be the longest track on the album too. It’s another excellent well written and worked out song and just as “Elephant Talk” was my favourite track on the album Discipline. “Dinosaur” happens to be my favourite track on this album too, and merits my top spot award.

It’s a song they do great live on the stage and is really great to watch as well. The song has an excellent come down section in the middle that features Adrian Belew playing the keyboard parts on his guitar. It also has a great little silent pause before unleashing itself into sheer bliss. Belew plays a massive part on this one and “I Like It”.

Track 4. Walking on Air.

Well I did say that the album THRAK was a carbon copy of Discipline and here we have another truly fantastic ballad of a song just like “Matte Kudasai” only this one also has the feel of a Beatles song about it. I love how Belew reaches the highs with his voice on this song and he expresses his own words superbly.

The song also contains gorgeous guitar tones and is pure class. Very much a very strong contender for the top spot on the album this one, and a truly great bit of song writing.

Track 5. B’Boom.

Another great dramatic instrumental piece that gives one the feel that they are in some desolate haunting railway station, and the ghost train is waiting for you to board it on the platform so to speak.

The piece is constructed from one of Fripp’s familiar type of soundscapes, and features both Bruford and Mastelotto bashing out the drums to represent the train running along the tracks. A bit reminiscent to the same sort of thing Yes did back in 1973 in the middle section of the “Ritual” from their  Tales From Topographic Oceans album.

Track 6. THRAK.

The self titled album track is perhaps the heaviest instrumental piece on the album. Here the band are bashing out the chaotic mayhem and noise in more of a metal thrashing style and it has a sort of I don’t really give a shit sort of attitude about it all.

If you ever want the cobwebs cleaned out of your ears so to speak, blast this one out and it will do the job :))))). Thankfully its only a short track and they have not dragged it out long enough to make your ears bleed (LOL).

Track 7. Inner Garden, Pt. 1.

A short haunting song about autumn that comes in 2 parts. Both of the parts have been constructed very much the same musically and only the words are slightly different. It’s quite a good little song and it gives the impression that this section of the album has been done in the way of some sort of a concept with the tracks that are about to follow it.

Track 8. People.

Another really great song the band often played live. “People” is a very well structured song that has quite a funky bit of fusion about it. It can be perhaps seen as more of a commercial song, but there is nothing wrong with that when it’s done as good as this one is.

It features some well good bass grooves and interplay between Levin and Gunn and I would of expected musically the song was conceived and written around their bass lines. No doubt another contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 9. Radio, Pt. 1.

Another one of those little intervals between the main tracks on the album that comes in 2 parts. Once again it’s an haunting soundscape and quite an haunting bit of noise. I have no idea why they titled the piece “Radio” unless it’s a dead one :))))))).

This in reality is what I call a gap filler and nothing more. I am not really one for soundscapes I am afraid. Though thankfully its only 42 seconds long so this one is not really going to annoy me.

I would also say that this type of material does not belong on an album like this and is very much out of place. King Crimson really should make their mind up if they want to make a real album or one for films. You cannot combine the two together. It simply does not work I am afraid.

Track 10. One Time.

A song that has a great calmness to it all and another very well written song. It’s another song that the band play live a lot and no doubt the band are churning out some quality songs on this album. Putting it in between the 2 soundscapes really does not do the album any justice, and this is yet another contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 11. Radio, Pt. 2.

(Read Track 9.)

Track 12. Inner Garden, Pt. 2.

The 2nd part of the haunting song about autumn and the garden, and these nice little ditties are quite pleasing and say a lot more and work a damn site better than what the two parts of “Radio” ever did on that score.

Track 13. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream.

Another excellent song with an excellent bass groove and great up-tempo feel about it. It’s the last of the written songs for the album and another superb song the band play live too. It shows great diversity and aggression and is another high contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 14. VROOOM VROOOM & Track 15. VROOOM VROOOM: Coda.

The album finishes off in the same great style it opened up with the last 2 instrumental pieces on the album. “VROOOM VROOOM” is more or less the same has the opening track “Vrooom” only it’s more like an extended version and a bit longer.

There is quite a few seconds of silence placed at the end of the track before the last track “VROOOM VROOOM: Coda” starts and is if they have placed it has a secret album track. The last track is also different in relation to the 2nd track on the album “Coda: Marine 475” and they have included a soundscape on the intro and slowed it right down and taken out the spoken words.

In reality the last two tracks on the album are very much like bonus tracks that have alternative mixes, and that’s how they should of really placed them on the album too.

Summary…

The 40th Anniversary Edition of King Crimson’s 1995 album THRAK may contain really nothing in the way of bonus material, but is certainly an album well worthy of buying again just for the 5.1 mix on the DVD. The new stereo mixes are also very well done too, and this release is quality.

The album THRAK is certainly one of King Crimson’s better albums. Take away “Radio (Parts 1 & 2)” and it’s very much what I would consider a solid album with the rest of material they wrote for it. It’s certainly on par with their 1981 album Discipline and is more or less a carbon copy with how close the well written material sounds and comes across. It even contains more songs with vocals than that album too, and they are all very well written and very good.

Though the album THRAK was intended to be done with a double trio in mind, effectively it was only ever a double trio when they worked out how to play the material live as a 6 piece band and got to perform it that way on stage.

The album itself was recorded with each member going into a room and recording their parts individually. It’s also said that the album was mixed so that when played in stereo, if you turn the balance to the left you will hear the parts played by Adrian Belew. Tony Levin and Bill Bruford. By turning it to the right you will hear Robert Fripp. Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto.

Conclusion…

THRAK is quite a remarkable album done with a very impressive line of King Crimson. The band went on to tour in 1995 playing the material mainly from this album and the material from their 1991 album Discipline.

In 1999 they released their first ever live concert footage on DVD which was taken from the live performances they played in Japan in 1995. They titled the DVD Déjà Vrooom and still till this day I regard it as the best ever quality live footage there is out there of King Crimson.

King Crimson were no doubt once again a force to be reckoned with in 1995. OK it’s perhaps not up their with what they did in the 70’s but never the less it was an exciting and impressive line up they had here.

The band have always been a bit of an hit and miss regarding the albums they produced and churned out throughout their entire career to be honest. No doubt the the bands line up between 1972 – 1974 was more of a solid one that made 3 very good albums, and that perhaps is their most highest point of their career.

But I still cannot fault both the albums Discipline and THRAK. They are a different breed that made them with their more modern approach, but for me personally they are up with their very best albums too.  They are both what I would call solid albums.

I’m A Dinosaur, Somebody Is Digging My Bones…

The CD track listing is as follows:

01. VROOOM. 4:34.
02. Coda: Marine 475. 2:36.
03. Dinosuar. 6:38.
04. Walking on Air. 4:43.
05. B’Boom. 4:10.
06. THRAK. 3:59.
07. Inner Garden, Pt. 1. 1:47.
08. People. 5:51.
09. Radio, Pt. 1. 0:42.
10. One Time. 5:22.
11. Radio, Pt. 2. 0:57.
12. Inner Garden, Pt. 2. 1:16.
13. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream. 4:49.
14. VROOOM VROOOM. 5:49.
15. VROOOM VROOOM: Coda. 2:57.

Lee’s overall Complete Package Value Rating…

The Packaging Rating Score. 7/10

The Bonus Tracks Rating Score. 2/10

The 5.1 Mix Rating Score. 10/10.

The Original Album Rating Score. 9/10.

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Lee Speaks About Music… #43

Three Of A Perfect Pair (40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition) – King Crimson

KC - TOAPP

Introduction…

The third and final album from this incarnation of King Crimson sees the band still heading in a more commercial direction regarding some of the material that was written for it. Only this time they decided to make an album that had two sides to it. The so called “Left Side” features more accessible commercial material. The “Right Side” was reserved for the less accessible material of a bizarre noise.

There is no doubt the album Three Of A Perfect got heavily criticised on its release and even today many people can still criticise this particular album more so than their previous album Beat. Personally I felt the critics were entirely wrong simply because the band without a doubt struggled to make the material for Beat and it was perhaps a bit weaker than what we have here.

There is also no doubt that the material written for both Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair does not even measure up to being half as good as the material they wrote for Discipline. They are both poor albums in relation to it. But in some ways King Crimson did try and try to recapture some of the magic that can be found on Discipline with this album and there are a few really great tracks to be found on it.

The 40th Anniversary Edition Release…

The 40th Anniversary Edition of King Crimson’s 10th studio album Three Of A Perfect Pair was released on the same day as the 40th Anniversary edition of Beat on the 28th October 2016. Just like all 40th Anniversary releases it comes with a CD containing the new mixes and a DVD that contains the 5.1 mix and extras. I purchased my copy from Amazon for £14.89 which is a very respectable price and it was even £3 cheaper than what I paid for the 40th Anniversary editions of  Beat and Discipline.

The Packaging & Artwork…

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The packaging is a bit on the cheap side but never the less is colourful, cheerful and comes in a box with a mediocre informative booklet. Just like all these King Crimson 40th Anniversary Editions.

Once again the artwork is of a symbol and rather strange one at that. It was designed by Peter Willis and is meant to be some sort of sacred–profane dichotomy which is a religious symbol used by religious cults that profanely represents both good and evil. Robert Fripp seen it has a simplified version of the Larks’ Tongues In Aspic album cover of all things :))))) but at least it looks a damn site better than the symbol that was used for the album Beat.

Three Of A Perfect Pair (40th Anniversary CD/DVD) Review…

The 40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition of Three Of A Perfect Pair by King Crimson comes with a CD that contains the new 2016 mixes of the album plus bonus tracks mixed by Steve Wilson & Robert Fripp and a DVD with an array of many other bonus features including a 5.1 mix and some video content.

The CD & Bonus Tracks.

The new 2016 mixes once again I have no complaints about and can very much live with them and they do sound better for it. Though I personally would not recommend buying a release like this just for the CD content alone, and you will get much better quality recordings from the DVD that come with all these 40th Anniversary editions of King Crimson.

The bonus material just like the 2001 30th Anniversary release comes with 6 bonus tracks. Only here it’s only “The King Crimson Barber Shop“. “Industrial Zone A” and “Industrial Zone B” that are the same, and the other 3 bonus tracks are different. The other 3 bonus tracks you get are “Robert’s Ballad“. “Shidare Zakura” and “Industrial Zone C“.

The DVD.

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The DVD’s Main Menu is quick and easy to get around and presents you with 4 simple options to choose from. Please note that is was a bad day when I took these pictures and the light was not very good. But the colour of the screen is a very bright yellow just like the colour of packaging.

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The Audio Setup is set to DTS 5.1 by default. Just like the release of Beat both the 5.1 and stereo audio formats are in 24/48 only and there is no 24/96 to be found anywhere on this release.

The 5.1 mixes have been done from the original tracks and the first 2 bonus tracks that were on the CD have also been given the 5.1 treatment. When selecting the LPCM Stereo version you get the same amount of bonus tracks that came with the CD.

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Just like we got with Beat there is not a lot of extras on this release either. Has you can see by the Extras Menu you do get the 30th Anniversary remastered edition which comes with 6 bonus tracks “The King Crimson Barber Shop“. “Industrial Zone A“. “Industrial Zone B“. “Sleepless (Tony Levin mix)“. “Sleepless (Bob Clearmountain mix)” and “Sleepless (François Kevorkiandance mix)“.

Has you can see we only get 1 video with this release which is the one made for “Sleepless“. Once again it’s not that good and the money was perhaps a bit wasted.

The 5.1 Mix.

The 5.1 mix is excellent and once again they have been done by Steve Wilson & Robert Fripp who have done the business on them. By far the best thing about these new editions and I am well chuffed with them.

Musicians & Credits…

Original album produced by King Crimson. Cover symbol by Peter Willis. Cover Art by Timothy Eames. Engineer Brad Davis with Tony Arnold on “Industry” and “Dig Me“.  Assistant Engineers Nick James & Ray Niznik. Recorded at Basing Street Studios, London. Social Services Tex Reed.

Personnel:
Robert Fripp: Guitar.
Adrian Belew: Voice/Fretted & Fretless Guitars.
Tony Levin: Bass/Stick/Synth/Backing Voice.
Bill Bruford: Acoustic & Electric Drumming.

The Original Album Tracks Review…

Three Of A Perfect Pair was King Crimson’s 10th studio album and was released on the 27th March 1984. The original album came with 9 tracks spread over a playing time of just under 41 minutes. There was no doubt that the band were still trying their hand at being more commercial with a few of its tracks that was amongst the material they made for the album, but they did also sort of rescue themselves by splitting the album in two halves with a Left and a Right side.

There is also no doubt that just like the album Beat they did do a couple of diabolical tracks out of the 9 we get here, but on an whole the material is much more stronger on this album and it has a lot more to say for itself.

Track 1. Three Of A Perfect Pair.

The album starts with the more commercial side of the album known as the “Left Side” and it’s self titled album track which is a really great song, that is in every way as good as the material that was written for Discipline in my book.

It’s a song that the band played better live and also one of the songs the band highly regarded to keep it in their live set list along with the material from Discipline that they quite often played over a decade or more later. This is something the band never did with the weaker material that was written for the album Beat.

Once again the combination between Belew and Fripp on the guitars is very well worked out, and although the song itself is quite different to “Frame By Frame” off the album Discipline. I would say that it on the same par as it, and for me “Three Of A Perfect Pair” wins my top spot award and is my personal favourite track on this album.

Track 2. Model Man.

Model Man” sees the band once again aiming to be more commercial again by writing a pop song. In many ways you could call this song “Modern Man” because it does fit the sort of more modern material that many pop artists were writing in the 80’s, it’s very much an 80’s song.

To be honest it’s quite a very well worked and well written song, and just like the German electronic band Kraftwerk did by going more commercial with their song “The Model” I can be quite partial and take a liking to this sort of modern approach, though no way would I put a song like this, or even Kraftwerk’s song as a contender for the best track on the album.  But I would not even say that both songs were particularly weak either.

Track 3. Sleepless.

Still staying with the commercial side of King CrimsonSleepless” was another one of their single releases accompanied by a video. It very much sees the band aiming to get a bit more recognition and stay in contention with the limelight of the commercial world.

The song itself is done in the style of a modern up-tempo funk dance groove, it’s very well driven and Tony Levin would of played the biggest part in writing this one I would of felt, with his well structured bass line.

It’s perhaps not what I would call a bad song, and quite good to be honest, but one does have to be in the mood for this type of song as well. There are times that I like it and other times it’s less appealing to myself.

Track 4. Man With an Open Heart.

Another commercial pop song without a doubt and this one for me personally is a complete load of dribble I am afraid to say. What on earth was they doing for god’s sake (LOL). This has to be my contender for the worst song on the album I am afraid. The less said about it the better :)))))).

Track 5. Nuages (That Which Passes, Passes Like Clouds).

The last of the more commercial pieces they wrote for the “Left Side” of the album is an instrumental piece. It’s the first of 4 instrumental pieces. I would not say that this was commercial either. If anything it’s perhaps out of place sticking it on this side and they should of swapped it around with the only song left on the album “Dig Me“.

It’s not a bad little number and it tries to be a bit more modern with the way the music has been structured around Levin’s bass and Bruford’s electronic percussion. Fripp does his usual and weaves his way around it with simplistic lead lines on his guitar.

It’s not exactly gonna set the world on fire and it does not really push any bells or whistles either.

Track 6. Industry.

The instrumental piece “Industry” kicks off the less commercial side of the album known as the “Right Side”. It’s the longest track on the album and sees the band going about their more familiar diverse fusion. It’s perhaps more familiar with the improvised material they wrote back in 72-74 but with a more modern edge perhaps.

No doubt this one for me personally is much more like it, and I would even make it a contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 7. Dig Me.

The last of the written songs on the album sees the band trying to be diverse again, and apart from the chorus of the song (which incidentally is the best part about it) the rest of it is just a complete mess around I am afraid. Potentially it could of been a good song, but instead they just ruined it :))))))).

Track 8. No Warning.

In some ways the 2nd side of the album is perhaps more dramatic and it could be also seen in the light of a bit of a concept around industrialism. “No Warning” if anything has a more cinematic approach about it. A fusion of noise is the perhaps the best way to describe it. It’s not too bad, but once again it’s not gonna push any bells or whistles either, but it is fitting to its title with the drama it presents here.

Track 9. Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 3.

The albums ends off with the band reworking and reconstructing the 1973 track “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2“. They tend to do it at a lot more faster pace and do manage to weave some magic here I will say, and it does embark on some of the lines and riffs that part 2 of this had about it.

Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 3” is another track from this album that King Crimson still continued to played live well over a decade of this release. For me personally it’s the 2nd best track on this album and a strong contender for the top spot.

Summary…

To sum up my review of the 40th Anniversary edition of the album Three Of A Perfect Pair by King Crimson. It perhaps has more in the way of bonus tracks in comparison to the album Beat. But it still has little in the way of bonus material in relation to a lot of these 40th Anniversary editions. Once again the new mixes and the 5.1 mixes are excellent and the extra bonus tracks are also very good too.

I would rate the album Three Of A Perfect Pair marginally a bit better than Beat but it’s a long way off a solid album with the mixed bag of material you get here. The Highlights of the album for me is once again 3 tracks which are “Three Of A Perfect Pair“. “Industry” and “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 3“. But these are by far way better written material than those we seen on Beat and are a lot more stronger.

Conclusion…

To conclude my review of King Crimson’s 1984 album Three Of A Perfect Pair. I would say that it is more of a worthy purchase because it’s half decent album. It does offer slightly a bit more than the 3 tracks I highlighted to be fair, to which the album Beat never really gave you anything more and was so disappointing.

But an half decent album is not one I would recommend either, and if your after a really good King Crimson album Three Of A Perfect Pair is not gonna give you that I am afraid.

There is no doubt that the 80’s had a huge effect on King Crimson’s music and this incarnation of the band were influenced by what was going on in the pop charts at the time. It really led to their downfall in many respects, and out of the 3 albums they did make in this decade only 1 of them was really good and that was Discipline. You would be struggling to make half of a real decent album with the material they wrote for the albums Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair.

What A Perfect Mess…

The CD track listing is as follows:

01. Three of a Perfect Pair. 4:21.
02. Model Man. 4:01.
03. Sleepless. 5:36.
04. Man With an Open Heart. 3:06.
05. Nuages (That Which Passes, Passes Like Clouds). 4:47.
06. Industry. 7:03.
07. Dig Me. 3:16.
08. No Warning. 3:29.
09. Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 3. 6:07.
10. The King Crimson Barber Shop [*]. 1:37.
11. Robert’s Ballad [*]. 3:23.
12. Shidare Zakura [*]. 2:40.
13. Industrial Zone A [*]. 3:15.
14. Industrial Zone B [*]. 5:34.
15. Industrial Zone C [*]. 15:50.

Lee’s overall Complete Package Value Rating…

The Packaging Rating Score. 7/10

The Bonus Tracks Rating Score. 6/10

The 5.1 Mix Rating Score. 10/10.

The Original Album Rating Score. 5/10.

Lee Speaks About Music… #42

Beat (40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition) – King Crimson

KC - Beat

Introduction…

The 9th album Beat by King Crimson makes a bit of history regarding the band itself. It happens to be the first time in any incarnation of the bands members that they are all still present to make a 2nd album. Has a matter of that this line up even went one better and made 3 albums. Never before has this happened with any incarnation of King Crimson.

Though they may have had the same members still, the one thing I can personally say is that they certainly ran out of ideas, and this particular album I very much think is the weakest out of all 3 of them made with this incarnation.

The album Beat if anything is perhaps the bands most commercial album and a lot of the material suffers big style for it. The 80’s were upon us and so to was the video camera. The new in thing in the charts was videos and even though Adrian Belew had ideas for King Crimson to make a good few of them, Robert Fripp on the other hand was watching the pennies.

Fripp did not see the point in spending 50 grand to make one video of one song, when you could make an whole album for 100 grand. Even though with this line up they did manage to make a few of them at a lot cheaper price. Quite personally I think the money was wasted, because they were dreadful :)))))))))).

The 40th Anniversary Edition Release…

The 40th Anniversary Edition of King Crimson’s 9th studio album Beat was released on the 28th October 2016. It was only 34 years old at this stage but Robert Fripp was not hanging around even though this release took 5 years more to surface than the 40th Anniversary of their previous album Discipline. Both 40th Anniversary editions of Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair were actually released on the same day.

Has with all these 40th Anniversary editions they come with a CD with the new mixes and a DVD with an array of bonus material. Even though most of the material is generally the same thing over and over, my personal incentive is the 5.1 mixes, but you can also find some other goodies and at its price point and they are very good value. Speaking of the price I did order my copy from Amazon and this one once again was a bit more expensive than some of them and cost me £17.61.

The Packaging & Artwork…

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Has with all these 40th Anniversary Editions the packaging is done on the cheap side but it’s quite adequate and they come in a box that adds further support to the packaging. It also comes with a booklet and contains information from the King Crimson Diaries. It’s a bit informative but lacks a lot of content regarding the bonus material on the DVD and is worded wrong in parts too.

The artwork is once again based on a symbol and this one happens to be an half time quaver image designed by Rob O’Connor. It’s only really designed because the so called artist decided to draw it to look like a GIF rather than anything of more quality like a JPG that you would find in the computer world. I have to say it just looks bloody dreadful I am afraid :))))))))).

Beat (40th Anniversary CD/DVD) Review…

The 40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition of Beat by King Crimson comes with a CD that contains the new 2016 mixes of the album mixed by Steve Wilson & Robert Fripp and a DVD with other bonus features including a 5.1 mix and includes some video content. Though I have to say this particular release does not offer an abundance of extras in relation to many of the other releases.

The CD & Bonus Tracks.

The CD comes with the new 2016 mixes mixed by Steve Wilson and Robert Fripp and once again they are very good and have not gone overboard with them. However Fripp did decide to include the extended version of “Requiem” as the 8th track instead of the original version which was only half its length. It also comes with 1 bonus track entitled “Absent Lovers” which is an instrumental track that uses words from the albums opening track “Neal and Jack and Me” though it’s not an instrumental version of it at all.

Apart from the new 2016 mixes and what little bonus material we have here they are the only difference between the 30th Anniversary edition. So no doubt they was struggling for material when they made this album, and they had very little of it.

The DVD.

SS 1

Unlike Discipline the DVD for Beat offers you no fancy pixel animation upon loading and just presents you with its straight forward main menu screen. They all however load with the Global Discipline Logo before hand and some are in 4:3 aspect ratio and some in 16.9. You would think by now they would of done away with the 4:3 aspect ratio ages ago by now.

SS 2

The Audio Setup is set to DTS 5.1 by default. Once again there is a difference between this release and Discipline in that both the 5.1 and stereo audio formats are in 24/48 only and there is no 24/96 to be found anywhere on this release.

There is also another noticeable difference and with this release in that the 5.1 mixes have been done from the 2016 new mixes instead of the original tracks, so they appear to be cutting corners on this release. It features the same tracks on the CD including the bonus track mixed in 5.1.

It’s also worth noting that if you play it n stereo only you also get another 2 bonus tracks which are an alternative take of “Neal and Jack and Me” and a live version of “Absent Lovers” which was recorded live in Oxford. England.

SS 3

The Extras menu contains the original 8 track album which are the remastered tracks for the 30th Anniversary edition that was released back in 2001. The album was only 19 years old at this point :))))))))))). All I can say is that Robert Fripp’s diary must be way out LOL. However it’s great to have the original tracks included for making comparisons and has you have them here, you can also sell your old releases on ebay and get a bit of money back should you wish.

The 2nd choice on the extras menu is supposed to be the Alternative Album. Only the menu is wrong and so too is the description in the booklet. Instead it contains the rough mixes of the original album. These recordings were prepared by Rhett Davies before the album went into its final mixing and mastering stages.

The final selection contains the videos and here we have 3 of them. The promotional video of the studio version of “Heartbeat” to which I always found quite boring to be honest. But the live versions of “Waiting Man” and “Heartbeat” are the best things in this section by far.

The 5.1 Mix.

Has a rule I much prefer the 5.1 mixes to done from the original tracks and not the new remixes. However the fact that the new mixes are very good will certainly not be getting any real complaints from myself.

The 5.1 mix is very satisfying has with practically everyone in these 40th Anniversary editions and once again Steve Wilson and Robert Fripp have done with the bees knees with them. This is the thing why I buy these releases again and no doubt the cost of them is well worthy of the price point for the 5.1 mix alone.

Musicians & Credits…

Original album produced by Rhett Davies. Cover design by Rob O’Connor. Equipment by Graham Davies. Recorded at Basing Street Studios, London. Social Services Tex Reed. Strategic Management Paddy Spinks.

Personnel:
Robert Fripp: Guitar/Organ/Frippertronics.
Adrian Belew: Guitars/Lead Vocals/Additional Drums (track3).
Tony Levin: Bass Guitar/Chapman Stick/Backing Vocals.
Bill Bruford: Drums/Percussion.

The Original Album Tracks Review…

The original album Beat by King Crimson was released on the 18th June 1982. The album itself contained 8 tracks spread over a playing time of 35 minutes 19 seconds. Out of the 8 tracks only two of them were instrumentals and just like the previous album Discipline it does appear that this line up is more focused on songs more than anything else, though I do feel they missed the mark in writing anything that was gonna really stand out and make a mark on this album in particular.

According to form a lot of the inspiration for the album Beat came from a book entitled “On The Road” written by Jack Kerouac. The book itself is based around living life in the post war beat generation taking in the subject matter of living life against the backdrop of jazz, poetry and drug use.

The albums title of Beat is not based around a real form of music as in the beating of a drum or a rhythmical style of music that has a beat to it sort of thing, and it’s widely used here in the titles of the songs and the lyrical subject matter of the songs. Some of which even include the author himself in the songs such as the opening track on the album for example.

The fact that the word “Jazz” was also mentioned in the subject matter bears very little relation to this album at all. But of course the band King Crimson have always tried to incorporate some fusion of jazz into their music one way or the other, I would say that on this occasion that they was a long way off the mark, and for me personally I very much would say that the album Beat is perhaps the first time the band ever really tried to make a pop album.

Track 1. Neal and Jack and Me.

The opening track without a doubt is the strongest well written song on the whole of the album. Both Belew and Fripp weave their way along on the guitars in and out of time signatures of 5/4 and 7/8 and is very much more like the kind of material we got with the bands previous album Discipline.

It’s a very well structured song were all of the band play integral parts throughout it. The lyrics are references to the novelist Jack Kerouac and his best friend Neal Cassady who also played a character part along with Kerouac in the book “On The Road“.

The first time I ever brought this album back in the 2000’s I brought it on the strength of hearing this song alone and never heard anything else on the album before purchasing it. This track wins the top spot award on the album and is my personal favourite.

Track 2. Heartbeat.

The best pop song on the album is perhaps the only way I can describe this one, and yes this is where King Crimson really became commercial and tried to make pop records :)))))). “Heartbeat” was released as a single and they even made a video to accompany it. The song is not bad to be honest but the video I have to say was just dreadful.

I would also say that a lot of fans who were into King Crimson’s earlier material back in the 70’s would be thinking what the hell is going on here :))))) I very much said the same thing when I first heard it, it became a bit of a shock :))))))))). But a lot of those great bands from the 70’s were all at it to be honest in the 80’s and King Crimson were no exception at all to having a go at it.

Track 3. Sartori in Tangier.

The first of the 2 instrumental pieces on the album sees the band having a pop in their more diverse style. The title of the track is derived from Satori in Paris and the city of Tangier in Morocco and has that flavour and the style in the music the band are putting across here. It’s a great little number and very well worked out piece of music.

Track 4. Waiting Man.

Even though the band are trying to be more diverse on this song the “Waiting Man” is perhaps a song that does not hold up very well in the way it’s been constructed. To be honest they have done it differently live which speaks a damn site better than this studio version. But overall the the band have very little to say with this one I am afraid.

Track 5. Neurotica.

A great song that starts off with an intro that has been lifted from a track entitled “Hååden Two” written by Robert Fripp and featured on his 1979 solo album Exposure. After the rather nice intro the song launches into chaotic mode and Adrian Belew has quite a mouthful of words to contend with that he wrote for this song that is well fitting with the subject matter and the songs title.

Musically there is plenty going on here along the mayhem of it all, and the song has great diversity and chord progression along its path. It’s not quite on par with the material we seen on their previous album Discipline but it is heading more to that direction in some terms.

Track 6. Two Hands.

A late night song for romantics perhaps that contains lyrics penned by Belew’s wife back then Margaret. It’s a nice enough ballad of a song but perhaps the sort of thing you would find on a Lionel Ritchie album rather than one by King Crimson.

Track 7. The Howler.

Another one of those songs that does not really have a lot to say about even if the band musically try their best to inject some sort of mad fusion into it. Fripp suggested a beat poem entitled the “Howl” written by Allen Ginsberg to Belew as an inspiration for the lyrics.

The 15/8 guitar riff that Belew played half way through it is also likened to the same riff he played to the Tom Tom Club single “Genius Of Love” which just goes to show the band were lacking ideas coming up with material for this album.

Track 8. Requiem.

The album gets put to bed with the last of the 2 instrumental tracks and the longest track on the album that runs for 6 minutes 48 seconds entitled “Requiem“. I have to say it’s just totally boring and so familiar with the solo material Fripp does with his soundscapes.

The extended version that comes with this release is actually 12 minutes and 15 seconds as if the original version was not boring enough, you now have to now even suffer more of it :)))))). In all honesty its just a load of verbal diarrhoea and a complete waste of space and that is putting it mildly I am sorry to say.

Summary…

To sum up my review of the 40th Anniversary edition of the album Beat by King Crimson. I would say it has very little to offer you regarding the bonus material your getting here. Both the new mixes and the 5.1 mixes are very good but its perhaps more of an album for collectors and certainly one I would not personally recommend, simply because the band lacked a lot of ideas and there is very little in the way of any good written material upon it.

For me personally I have always considered the albums Beat and Islands the worst albums King Crimson ever made. But that is precisely how they speak and come across to me. For those who may have got into King Crimson by hearing and buying the album Beat first back in the 80’s. This album may speak to them more and they may like it a damn site more than myself on that score.

For me the highlights of the album are “Neal and Jack and Me“. “Sartori in Tangier” and “Neurotica“. It’s not entirely a pop album but the nearest thing they ever did to making one I personally feel.

Conclusion…

To conclude my review here I would just like to  say that there is no doubt this incarnation of King Crimson with a doubt are excellent musicians and they made a promising start with their previous album Discipline. But being an excellent musician means nothing unless you have the material to back yourself up, and this is where the band unfortunately let themselves down with the album Beat.

But hey just how many bands and artists in this world have churned out a winner all the time. Very few I would say and many have put out albums just as bad as this one that’s for sure.

There is no doubt that band were struggling to come up with enough decent material for this album, and in all honesty it would of been better for them to wait till they had enough so they could pick and choose the best from it, and not just bung an half decent album like this on the market just to try and make a quick buck.

Has for myself. I am just the mug who went out and brought it again :))))))))). But I do love these 40th Anniversary editions for the 5.1 mixes and the quality you do get with the DVD and I am still glad I brought it. Though Like I stated earlier. It’s not an album I would recommend at all.

Strange Spaghetti In This Solemn City…

The CD track listing is as follows:

01. Neal and Jack and Me. 4:24.
02. Heartbeat. 3:51.
03. Sartori in Tangier. 3:35.
04. Waiting Man. 4:27.
05. Neurotica. 4:49.
06. Two Hands. 3:22.
07. The Howler. 4:13.
08. Requiem. 12:15.
09. Absent Lovers # (instrumental, bonus track). 4:11.

Lee’s overall Complete Package Value Rating…

The Packaging Rating Score. 7/10

The Bonus Tracks Rating Score. 5/10

The 5.1 Mix Rating Score. 10/10.

The Original Album Rating Score. 4/10.

Lee Speaks About Music… #41

Discipline (40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition) – King Crimson

KC - D

Introduction…

After Robert Fripp disbanded King Crimson in 1974 it took him a good 7 years before he finally decided to put the band back together with a new incarnation of the band. He very much decided to reinstate the drummer Bill Bruford from the bands previous incarnation and brought in a couple of Americans.

The first being the session player Tony Levin who is very much well known and noted for his bass and stick playing with the solo artist Peter Gabriel. The other new recruit was Talking Heads guitarist Adrian Belew who had also played with the likes of Frank Zappa and David Bowie. Both were extremely talented musicians.

We were now in the 80’s and a lot of things regarding music had certainly changed in that decade. For me personally I felt that at least 80% of the music that was churned out in the 80’s was biggest pile of crap I have ever heard in any decade. It’s a decade I detested for all it’s new romantics and so called retro music.

There was no doubt that even the 80’s had changed a lot of bands I loved so much in the 70’s for the worse. And even they were churning out crap to try and keep some sort of limelight rather than continue doing what they was already doing 10 times better in the first place.

The band King Crimson were no exception at all, and there is no doubt that even their music had now changed. Though it was not completely a disaster has some of the 70’s bands were doing at the same time. There was no doubt King Crimson were heading in a new direction, and with the 3 albums they set out to do with this new line up in the 80’s.

They also appeared to be heading into a more commercial direction, and even the Mellotron that played quite a major part in their previous music was now nowhere to be seen, but they did still managed to keep some of their diverse ways and add noise to try and keep some contention of what this band was all about.

Over the next series of reviews I shall be bringing you the 3 albums made with this incarnation. Discipline. Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair plus the 1995 album THRAK done with a slightly different incarnation of the band which will complete the 40th Anniversary Editions.

The only albums I have not brought in these 40th Anniversary Editions are Lizard and Islands. But I may at a later point buy them just to complete the series, and review them. Though they are not amongst my favourite of the bands output.

The 40th Anniversary Edition Release…

The 40th Anniversary Edition of King Crimson’s 8th studio album was released on the 3rd of October 2011. Though at this point the album was only 30 years old. But Robert Fripp decided that in 2009 when King Crimson’s debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King was 40 years old, they all was and he was not hanging around for them officially to become 40 years old and set out on another making money scheme.

Honestly this guy would try and sell you a dead horse (LOL) especially when you look at all the live albums, compilations and box sets he has released. You would have to be on a kings wages to buy it all :))))))))))). Thankfully this release was at a more reasonable price and cost me £17.61 on Amazon but even that was about £3 more expensive than some of these editions you can get on there.

But I cannot complain because this release does have the superb quality that many of the others do have about them in this series. I would also love to see both the albums The ConstruKction Of light and The Power To Believe given the same treatment as well, and they are the only ones that have not been given it so far.

The Packaging & Artwork…

20171102_115834

The construction of all the packages for the 40th Anniversary Editions are very much all the same. It uses 2 thin layers of cardboard glued together to make the case and plastic holders commonly used in CD Jewel Cases to add strength to the case and they do provide better protection for the CD’s too.

A box is also provided to store the case and it also comes with quite a good well detailed booklet. The packaging is not the best of quality and is done on the cheap, but never or less ample enough to do the job.

As for the artwork it appears that for this incarnation of King Crimson that Robert Fripp has gone for signs or symbols. Fripp very much brought the rights to use a variation of a Celtic Knot design by George Bain. The original vinyl album that was released back in 1981 also had his design on the cover.

Later on Fripp decided to change the design and it was replaced by another Knotwork design done by Steve Ball. He even used this design for his logo of Global Discipline Mobile. Ball’s design is the one that is found on all subsequent releases of Discipline.

Discipline (40th Anniversary CD/DVD) Review…

The 40th Anniversary CD/DVD Edition of Discipline by King Crimson comes with a CD that contains the new 2011 mixes of the album mixed by Steve Wilson & Robert Fripp and a DVD with an array of many other bonus features including a 5.1 mix of the original album and some video content.

The CD & Bonus Tracks.

The new mixes done by Wilson & Fripp I have to say are very good and I personally think they sound a bit sonically better overall. I do not find myself really wanting to go back to the original remasters and can quite honestly live with these.

In relation to the 30th Anniversary release, this release comes with 4 bonus tracks instead of just 1. Though labelled on the box and in the booklet it only appears to have 3 bonus tracks. The CD says different and shows 11 tracks and not 10 as stated on the packaging.

Though I would not get to excited because the first 2 bonus tracks are only some of Adrian Belew’s loops and are only a few seconds long. The other 2 bonus tracks are both mixed by Steve Wilson and are “The Sheltering Sky [*][Alternate Mix][Alternate Take]” and “Thela Hun Ginjeet [*][Alternate Mix][Alternate Take]“.

The DVD.

SS 1

Upon loading the DVD presents with some lovely pixelated animation that forms the knotwork sign and you are then presented with this menu screen. The menu is simple enough to get around and gives you 4 options.

SS 2

Clicking on the Audio Option presents with the choice of LPCM Stereo and DTS 5.1 Digital Surround. Both of these come with high quality 24/96k formats. Besides these formats they also come with both a stereo and 5.1 surround MLP Lossless format. But to access that option you will have to go into the settings of your DVD or Blu Ray Player and switch it from Bitstream to Multi Channel Analogue.

You will also need an AV Amp or Receiver that has Multi Channel Outposts on the back and need to have the appropriate amount of RCA (Phono) Leads attached and wired up as well.

Both the stereo and 5.1 mixes in this main section only contain the original masters of the 7 tracks on the original album and not the new mixes and the bonus tracks.

SS 3

The Extras menu features quite an array of them and has you can see from the top of the menu it also comes with the original mix of the album you got with the 30th Anniversary edition. It also contains the alternative version of “Matte Kudasai” which was the only bonus track that came with that release.

The 2nd option on the extras menu which is the BBC Old Grey Whistle Test contains 3 videos but only 2 of them are actually from the Old Grey Whistle Test from back in the days when Ann Nightingale was presenting the program.

The first video is a live version of “Elephant Talk” which was recorded at The Venue in London in October 1981. Both “Frame by Frame” and “Indiscipline” were recorded live at the BBC for the TV programme on the 15th march 1982.

The Rough Mix section contains the recordings of all the albums 7 tracks that date back to the end of May 1981. These recordings were prepared by Rhett Davies before the album went into its final mixing and mastering stages.

It shows how good these tracks were recorded in the first place and no reverb had been applied at this stage either. Apparently the album was that well recorded that the final release had very little done to it in the mastering stage of it, and they only used the mastering for a little bit of pitch correction and nothing more.

The Additional Tracks section contains the 4 bonus tracks that are on the CD plus “The Terrifying Tale of Thela Hun Ginjeet” and a 12 inch Dance Mix USA Promo version of “Elephant Talk“. I have to confess regarding the so called dance mix of “Elephant Talk” there is hardly any difference at all. If anything it’s best not to even talk about it :))))))).

However “The Terrifying Tale of Thela Hun Ginjeet” is certainly interesting and is in 3 parts. The first two parts are discussions from Fripp and Belew and the 3rd part is a a blistering live take of the song from Philadelphia, PA in 1982 and is superb.

There is a fault in this section though in that the only way you can get to hear “The Terrifying Tale of Thela Hun Ginjeet” is by either playing all the tracks in this section or selecting the previous track before it. Because you cannot select it to play it like all the other tracks in this section, and they missed out in placing a marker for it to do so.

The 5.1 Mix.

Both Steve Wilson & Robert Fripp done the 5.1 mixes of the original 7 tracks of the album taken from the original multitrack master tapes. Has with the biggest majority of the 40th Anniversary Editions the 5.1 mixes are terrific and this is precisely what I personally gain by buying albums that have been given the 5.1 treatment when they are done as good as this.

The 5.1 mix alone is worthy of the price your paying for this release alone and presents you with the best version you are basically ever going to hear. The detailed dynamics and the way they have utilised and panned the instrumentation over the 6 channels is quite stunning.

You could have the best pair of headphones in the world but no way on this earth could they produce the sonic dynamics and sound quality you can get that even a mediocre priced set of loudspeakers will cost you. I am sorry to say that stereo simply cannot touch it.

There is no doubt that one can get a complete new buzz from an album when it’s been mixed as good as this, and it will without doubt give you a complete new fresh way of hearing it without having anything added or subtracted from the mix. You will simply hear things that not even a pair of headphones are capable of picking up. This is down to the separation being far greater to produce sound in this way.

For 5.1 freaks like myself this album is simply a gem and you will get 100% satisfaction from buying a release like this all again just for its 5.1 mix. It simply does not disappoint.

Musicians & Credits…

Music by King Crimson, elephantosity by Belew. Produced by King Crimson and Rhett Davies. Cover by Peter Savile. Discipline Knotwork by Steve Ball. Equipment by Graham Davies. Recorded at Basing Street Studios, London. Assistant Engineer Michael Mills. Strategic Management Paddy Spinks.

Personnel:
Robert Fripp: Guitars & Devices.
Adrian Belew: Guitars/Lead Vocals.
Tony Levin: Stick/Bass Guitar/Support Vocals.
Bill Bruford: Drums/Percussion.

The Original Album Tracks Review…

The original album Discipline by King Crimson was released on the 22nd September 1981. It contained 7 tracks over a respectable playing time of 38 minutes 15 seconds. There was no doubt that King Crimson were heading in a new style and direction regarding the material that was written for the album, and even though the material is credited to all 4 of the bands members, I would personally say that the biggest majority of it came from ideas from Adrian Belew.

Belew was very much an effects nut who loves to delve with the latest technology that has been made available for the guitar. Just like Fripp he comes with an array of guitar effects. He originally started out playing the drums and you will even see him quite often play drums and percussion live on stage with this King Crimson line up.

He is also a solo artists in his own rights and had been working on what was to become his first debut album around this time. His debut album Love Rhino got released in the following year but he had spent a good few years working on it, and he loved experimenting with sounds to produce animal noises. Many of which he incorporated into the material with this new line up of King Crimson.

In many ways it was Adrian Belew who created the excitement in this new incarnation of the band, and he was at the forefront of it. He even wrote all the lyrics for the material and it was the first time that the band never involved bringing in a person solely just to write lyrics.

This was a complete new chapter in the history of King Crimson’s music and one that came with a more direct popular approach to it all and a bit of noise thrown in for good measure.

Track 1. Elephant Talk.

The album opens up with my personal favourite track on the album entitled “Elephant Talk“. It’s a track that has Adrian Belew written all over it one would think. But from a writing pointing of view I would also say that Tony Levin had quite an hand in this one too. His bass lines play a major role here and not just Belew’s sound effect he produces on the guitar to make the sound of the elephant. Which incidentally also sound like an electric drill :))))))))))

Belew has a good way of writing lyrics and putting them across, and I have to say I do find his lyrics very interesting and all fitting to the subject matter on all the songs he does. I can see why Fripp felt there was no need to bring in another lyric writer for this incarnation of the band.

Speaking of Fripp who is the bands main guitar player. Both he and Belew work so well together at playing counter melodies around each other, and their parts are very well worked out.

Elephant Talk” is a really great song and one the band can pull off so well live too. They tend to do it a bit different all the time when on the stage and my all time favourite version of the song can be found on the 1999 Déjà Vrooom live DVD where the both bass players Tony Levin and Trey Gunn play a superb intro to the song together.

Track 2. Frame By Frame.

Another superb well written song that features both Belew and Fripp feeding off each other on the guitar with it’s main melody and counter melody lines. Both Levin and Bruford support it superbly. Levin’s backing vocals also work very well and provide great support to Belew’s lead vocals as on all the tracks.

It’s another great song the band handle live very well on stage, but they quite often omit its intro and play it at a lot slower pace than the blistering pace it is on this studio version. Belew will even tackle the song all by himself on the acoustic guitar too. It’s another top song and contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 3. Matte Kudasai.

Another contender for the best track on the album is “Matte Kudasai” which in Japanese interprets to “please wait”. The song is a most beautiful ballad where you get to see some of the more refined characteristics in Belew’s voice, and as well as his role on the slide guitar which is wonderful, Fripp plays some of his better guitar moments with the rhythm with the chords of the song. Though once again he has added overdubs.

There is no doubt that King Crimson with this line up are back to being a band that makes songs just as they did in reality on their debut album in 1969. and this one is a pure classic.

Track 4. Indiscipline.

Another excellent song that contains lots of diversity, fusion and mayhem all of which could certainly have been found back in the days with what is considered the bands best line up from 1972-1974. Though the biggest majority may say that this is more like a combination of Talking Heads and King Crimson. To be honest I do not care how people look at it, but just like Belew says in the song itself. I would say “I Like It”.

The words to the song was inspired by Belew’s wife back then Margaret and the thing he did like was a sculpture she had made, and not the guitar in his hands you will often see him looking at whist performing the song live. It’s yet another contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 5. Thela Hun Ginjeet.

The last of the songs on the album and one that comes with an anagram of “heat in the jungle” for its title. Musically the song is worked out around Levin’s bass groove and it contains many guitar effects from Belew and Fripp whilst Bruford bashes his way along on the drums. The words were inspired by Belew taking a walk around the corner of the studios in Basing Street in London with a tape recorder looking for some inspiration.

I have to say the story that Belew told the band when he returned back the studio from his experience from that walk around London, certainly sounds to me that he was walking around the Bronx in New York and not London at all :)))))))))))))).

It’s another song the band quite often performed live back then and always omitted the actual spoken words which to me was perhaps the best thing about it all. It seems rather strange hearing it live just with them singing the chorus and it sounds more like an instrumental track for doing it that way.

Track 6. The Sheltering Sky.

The longest track on the album happens to be an instrumental piece and the first of 2 here on this album. According to form it’s title was inspired by a Peter Bowles novel of the same name he wrote in 1949. Bowles was also associated with the beat generation which was also to become the inspiration for the bands next album.

Bill Bruford plays what’s known as a Slit Drum throughout the whole track, effectively it’s a block of wood with slits in it, and the rest of the group weave their magic around. It’s a very well good worked out piece unlike many of King Crimson’s instrumental improvs it’s perhaps got more of worked out structure to it all.

Track 7. Discipline.

The self titled album track is another piece that shows some great diversity and fusion to it. Once again Levin’s bass line plays a dominant role and the band weave some magic along the way.

Its perhaps not the best way to end an album like this off and I do feel that more attention should of been paid to the placement of the tracks on this album too. Putting 2 instrumental tracks at the end does not really work that well, and they should of been spread out more.

Summary…

The album Discipline by King Crimson for me personally was without doubt a very good album and one that seen as a very good return for a band that had been dormant for 7 years. Considering this was the 80’s and music had changed in a big way, the material we have here is perhaps pointing in a more commercial direction, but yet still contains some of the elements from the old line up. OK the keyboards may have been chucked out of the window but the diversity was still there at this point.

In some respects the band had gone back to doing what they did in the first place back in 1969 and that was making songs instead of doing more instrumental pieces. Just as much as “I Talk To The Wind” was a classic ballad of a song, I would  also say that the same could be said for “Matte Kudasai“.

OK it’s not got the same melancholy about it, but we are now in a different decade and this for me is also a very well written song and damn site better than what was in the charts at this point, where most songs were all way too keyboard orientated songs, and personally they never spoke so much as a dickie bird to me.

At this point in the bands career they very much proved they could still write great songs and still make a noise when needed to be. It can only be seen as a fresh new start with this particular line up, and it worked on this album. But the 2 albums that followed it certainly took a nose dive.

Conclusion…

To conclude my review of the 40th Anniversary edition of Discipline by King Crimson. I really cannot fault the new mixes on the CD but as with all these new editions the real valuation is with the DVD’s that not only contain the superb 5.1 mixes but also the more high end audio they have put out with all the extras. Effectively the price point is worthy of the DVD alone and even if they did not come with a CD I would still buy them because that is where the real quality lies.

I would very much say in Adrian Belew’s own words “No matter how closely I study it, No matter how I take it apart, No matter how I break it down” and add that this was still a line up that consisted of superb musicians who managed to churn out another really great album. It still contains the same structure and diversity King Crimson have always had, and is certainly not the same music Talking Heads were doing like many suggested just because Adrian Belew happened to be part of it.

There is no doubt King Crimson with its new fresh approach to music was still a force to be reckoned with, and although it’s music was perhaps certainly more accessible and approachable, it was not too commercial at this stage of the game with this album. Though I certainly do feel they had a shot at being more commercial with the album that was to follow it up.

Discipline to me was another solid body of work with the material that was writ for it, and Adrian Belew no doubt played and integral part in making it all happen. I would even go as far as saying, that it was him who added that bit more excitement to the band and no doubt they was all happy with the end result of this album, and even looked more of an happier band live on stage with this new fresh line up.

Only one more thing left to say, and that is…

I Like It…

The CD track listing is as follows:

01. Elephant Talk. 4:43.
02. Frame by Frame. 5:08.
03. Matte Kudasai. 3:47.
04. Indiscipline. 4:34.
05.Thela Hun Ginjeet. 6:25.
06. The Sheltering Sky. 8:22.
07. Discipline. 5:10.
08. A Selection of Adrian’s Vocal Loops [*]. 0:18.
09. A Selection of Adrian’s Vocal Loops [*]. 0:33.
10. The Sheltering Sky [Alternate Mix][*]. 8:26.
11. Thela Hun Ginjeet [Alternate Mix][Alternate Take][*]. 6:31.

Lee’s overall Complete Package Value Rating…

The Packaging Rating Score. 7/10

The Bonus Tracks Rating Score. 8/10

The 5.1 Mix Rating Score. 10/10.

The Original Album Rating Score. 9/10.

Lee Speaks About Music… #40

Baritonia – The Bob Lazar Story

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Introduction…

You only have to look at the album cover to know that this is yet another review of The Bob Lazar Story. I know I have already voted the artwork on the 2012 album Space Roots the worst album cover, and this one has to be another close contender :))))))))).

I have no idea as to what Baritonia is, but by looking at the artwork (the result of a coffee stain from the bottom of a mug) it could very well be a place or an island populated by men with beards :)))))))). Though one should never judge a book by its cover and as silly and zany both the artwork and the titles of the tracks may appear, there is no doubt more to the music than meets the eye.

Baritonia is the 6th music release by The Bob Lazar Story and unlike the last 2 releases which were EP’s. We do get to finally see another album release and the 3rd one to date. This is also the very latest album to date and came out this year.

The Album Credits…

Recorded and mixed by Matt Deacon in A-Town, Christchurch, NZ.
Drums recorded and mixed by Chris Jago at Shabby Road Studios, Los Angeles.
Mastered by Daniel Bowles at Seren Sounds Suite.

All songs written by Matt Deacon & Chris Jago, except 3, 7, 9 & 10 written by Matt Deacon.

Matt Deacon – Guitar, gynth, mouse, jaws harp.
Chris Jago – Drums*, finger cymbal.

The Album Review…

The album Baritonia by The Bob Lazar Story was released on the 14th of April 2017. The album contains 10 instrumental tracks (including its bonus track) and runs for an overall short yet very respectable playing time of 35 minutes and 7 seconds. It’s the 2nd longest album out of all 3 of the albums that have been released so far. It’s almost been a couple of years since the release of the last EP Self-Loathing Joe and music like this does take some time to do no doubt, and my estimation is that we will not see another release until around 2019, unless another short EP is on the cards for 2018.

I have to say that since I heard the music by The Bob Lazar Story I have become totally addicted to the stuff. I guess I also have to thank another great musician who also makes some great music himself. Namely Gordon Midgley. I stumbled across Gordon on Soundcloud a few years back now, but it was his actual Facebook page that led me to the work of Matt Deacon and his project The Bob Lazar Story.

The album Baritonia no doubt contains Matt Deacon’s usual great style regarding the music, but there is a couple of things here that I do feel are a bit different. The first thing you will instantly notice is the keyboard work. There seems to be a lot more of it on this album. The good thing about the keyboard work is that its very much less midified. Which is the very thing I remarked on in my review of his last EP Self Loathing Joe and felt it worked a lot better for it.

However the second thing that is different is the fact that for some reason this particular album tends to be less accessible in relation to everything that came before it. I find it’s more of an album one has to grow into more to get more accustomed to it. This may be down to the fact that it uses far more keyboards.

The strange thing about the music of The Bob Lazar Story is that if like myself you are already into the likes of Frank Zappa. King Crimson and Gentle Giant. This music will instantly appeal to you in the way that you do not need to grow into to it, to like it.

There is no doubt all 3 of those artists do not really make music that accessible for first time listeners, and you will have to grow into it for it to stick and stay with you. The way that the music of The Bob Lazer Story presents itself to you as a rule, is in the way that you have already done the growing bit by listening to those types of artists in the first place.

So in a way the album Baritonia is perhaps like those artists doing something a bit different making it that much harder for you take it in and accept it. It’s something all artists do and even those 3 artists I mentioned have certainly not made their entire discography of albums the same, and can even present you with something that may not even appeal to your taste at all. For any artist it can be struggle to be consistent and come up with a winner all the time..

This is mainly down to experimentation in other areas and aspects of music that may not be as appealing to you. They all can go off the rails at times, not that The Bob Lazar Story has at all with this album. It just takes a few more spins to grow into and once you have done so, you will reap the rewards it has to offer.

For me personally the weakest link in The Bob Lazar Story discography is the album I reviewed before this one, and that is the album Space Roots. But even that is still worthy of getting in my book cause it does have some great tracks on it.

So let’s take a more closer look of how the album Baritonia comes across as I take you through the 10 tracks on the album.

Track 1. Baritonia.

The album kicks off in superb style and this is perhaps the most diverse track that Matt as ever took on. The piece has bags of changes covers a load of styles and lots of chord progression thrown along its path. Not only have the sounds of the keyboards changed but he’s even threw in a Mellotron, and one that sounds very familiar to the sound that Rick Wakeman produced on his track “Laxx” from his 1976 album White Rock.

The interplay between the keyboards, guitars and drums is quite mind blowing to say the least. It’s perhaps one of the best structured pieces of music I have ever heard come out of The Bob Lazar Story and no doubt wins for me the top spot and my personal favourite track award.

Track 2. LOL, Defiantly.

The superb diversity continues with the 2nd track on the album. This one is very much familiar to the great material we got to hear on the last EP Self-Loathing Joe only this also has a mellotron in it as well, and once again a very Wakeman sounding one from that same track of his.

There is no doubt that so far this album is on fire and the music is very highly addictive and well cleverly done. This is another very strong contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 3. Eastern Rising.

The first of two short snippets on the album and a rather pleasant one at that.

Track 4. Make It Like It Used To Be.

I have always loved the way how Matt can cram so much into short tracks spread over the 2 to 3 minute mark. It’s far from an easy thing to do and here once again he does it so successfully. It proves that you do not need to write lengthy pieces of music to make a progressive rock track, and there is more diversity and chord progression over the 2 minutes and 19 seconds here, than what you will find in most 20 minute pieces of music.

Yet another very strong contender for the top spot on the album and brilliant piece of work that will have you thinking that Frank Zappa has been resurrected from the dead.

Track 5. Toptop Switcherooney, Elbow Patch Man.

Well no doubt the titles get stranger and on this track the heat gets turned up a few notches to a blistering pace. A very spritely rocker of a track that cooks on gas and this album is on fire. Has to be another contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 6. In The Woods With Tony Iommi.

I told you the titles get stranger and if you go down to the woods you may be just in for s surprise here :))))))))). Though you will not be finding Black Sabbath there or on here for that matter but the title has a nice ring to it.

Its a track with some great changing melody lines and even at one point touches on a bit of an older melody that you will find on “Ghost of Foodstool ft The Sefton Knowledge” from the 2014 EP Ghost of Foodstool. It’s another great track with great diversity that also contains a very tasty guitar solo.

Track 7. Relax For A Min, Yeah?.

The 2nd snippet of a track on the album is a very soothing one with some ambient guitar and the title here really speaks for itself and fits it like a glove. This is also perhaps more of a great little ditty rather than a snippet too.

Track 8. YNWALR.

This is one with another strange title, that is either written in some alien language or is an anagram. Maybe the title is “You’re Not Wearing A Leotard Rodney” :))))))))))). Whatever the title means and is, it happens to be the longest track on the album.

The keyboards do play a major role on this track and the piece is very much more programmed on that score. Though it’s very well structured and both Matt and Chris do the business playing along to it all. Once again this has loads of great changes and chord progression along its path and is another contender for the top spot on the album.

Track 9. Blues For Foodstool.

Well no album would be complete without Matt’s famous Foodstool chronicles. This one is a rather cool little acoustic guitar blues little ditty. In some ways I can see why the last track has been placed as a bonus track, because this one would of rounded the album very well here at this point.

Track 10. Escape Tits (Bonus Track).

Well it’s very rare you will get a real lengthy piece of work on any of The Bob Lazar Story albums, and you even get a bonus track with this one, and judging by the title Matt is perhaps milking this one :))))))))).

However this is another very fine piece of work and a very fine track. It’s quite a soothing one too with some rather nice subtle interaction between the keyboards, guitars and drums. It also rounds off the album very well too.

Summary…

Baritonia is another really terrific album by The Bob Lazar Story. It does contain more in the keyboard department in relation to any other of The Bob Lazar Story albums, which is why it is perhaps slightly different and some of the tracks will need a few more spins to get used to them.

Though even with it having more keyboards the material does not suffer at all, and there is no disputing Matt’s style of prog rock and jazz fusion. It still remains very consistent which is what I love about it. The fact that the keyboards also sound much better with them being less midified, also makes the album that more enjoyable.

The partnership and combination between Matt Deacon and Chris Jago works very well and is a very strong close tight nit outfit. It’s very much one I hope to see continue. These two go back a long way and where both born in Liverpool in the UK. These days they are many miles apart from each other with Matt Living in New Zealand and Chris in America.

Chris has not long finished a European tour plying drums for Neil Diamond and has played with many other well known artists including the likes of Boy George and Barclay James Harvest.

Matt has informed me that Neil Diamond will be embarking on another tour next year with Chris has is drummer and they will be playing in New Zealand. So they will both get the chance to actually meet up with one another for the first time in over 20 years.

Conclusion…

To conclude my review of Baritonia by The Bob Lazar Story. There is no doubt that this is an album that is up there with some of the best output of material that The Bob Lazar Story has to offer. The album also features more lengthy tracks too, and in total there are 3 of them over the 6 minute mark.

It’s perhaps not an album I would personally recommend to start with for first time listeners as an introduction to The Bob Lazar Story. This is simply because it will take a few more spins to appreciate it more.

But in saying that I only think it’s the 2nd half of the album that really needs a bit more listening attention, because the first 5 tracks are instantly more appealing and will even have you thinking that this album is on fire at this point.

My personal recommendations for first time listeners would be any one of these 3 albums (Sic)The Silence Of Perez de Cuellar and Self-Loathing Joe.

Whatever choice you decide, you simply cannot go wrong especially at the low price point The Bob Lazar Story has to offer their music for. For its price point you are getting genuine quality music that is that addictive I simply had to have it all, and I cannot wait for the next release to hit the shelves so to speak.

You can listen to or grab your own personal copy of Baritonia here : https://theboblazarstory.bandcamp.com/album/baritonia

The track listing of the album is as follows:

01. Baritonia. 6:26
02. LOL, Defiantly. 3:51
03. Eastern Rising. 0:16
04. Make It Like It Used To Be. 2:19
05. Toptop Switcherooney, Elbow Patch Man. 3:32
06. In The Woods With Tony Iommi. 6:26
07.Relax For A Min, Yeah?. 0:58
08. YNWALR. 6:41
09. Blues For Foodstool. 1:54
10. Escape Tits (bonus track). 2:44

Lee’s Album Rating Score. 9/10.

Lee Speaks About Music… #39

Space Roots – The Bob Lazar Story

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Introduction…

Since the release of Matt’s last EP The Silence Of Perez de Cuellar back in 2007. I think many would of thought that Matt had given up on making any more great music especially has his 2nd album and 3rd release of The Bob Lazar Story did not appear until 5 years later in 2012.

The reason for the big gap and delay of this release was due to personal problems that arose during the making of what was to become Space Roots. Matt had been working on the album and had around 90% of it completed when all of a sudden he and his family had to up sticks and move back England.

His computer never survived the trip, though he did manage to rescue the both hard drives that the material was stored on. When he eventually returned to New Zealand he built a new computer and had quite a painstaking task of piecing back together the material he had from the 2 hard drives.

Matt told me it was due to all of this that the production suffered in parts and it was quite patchy. He was also working with 3 different drummers at the time and it was the first time he got together with the drummer Chris Jago who eventually became his number one choice of drummers to feature on his more previous releases that came after this.

He also felt that he should of really made a couple of EP’s out of the material rather than put it out as an album. I personally think his observation of doing that would of worked out better, because I do feel it does suffer a bit in relation to the rest of The Bob Lazar Story releases, and you can find out more about it in my review here.

The Credits…

All music composed by Matt Deacon.

Matt Deacon – Guitars – Gynth & Other Stuff.
Mike Fudakowski – Bass.
Kevin Roberts – Drums (On tracks 1, 5, 7, 12).
Chris Jago – Drums (On tracks 9, 10, 14)
Unknown Drummer – (On Track 2, 3, 16, 18)

The Album Review…

The album Space Roots by The Bob Lazar Story was released on the 16th of May 2012. It’s an album that contains 19 tracks and comes with a total playing time of 38 minutes 51 seconds. It’s the longest album out of the 3 that have been released to date so far. It’s also the first release that features little snippets in between some of the tracks. The snippet feature was something that went on to continue with the rest of The Bob Lazar releases from here on.

Personally I feel that even though the snippet idea Matt introduced from this point onwards is not so bad with the 3 releases that followed it, simply because they only have a couple of them on them releases. On this particular album Space Roots it tends to be overrun with them, and I would also say that both the albums (Sic) and EP The Silence Of Perez de Cuellar that came before worked better for having none at all.

You may think your getting 19 tracks here, but in reality 9 of them are only snippets and I could quite easily of thrown 7 of those away, and the only 2 snippets that I would of kept is the one placed at track 11 entitled “Late Night Guitar” which to be honest is more of a track than a snippet as it’s a lovely little guitar ditty. And the final little ditty entitled “Siren” which is the 19th track and rounds off the album.

To be honest even in some of the little snippets there is some great guitar work on a couple of them, but in general most of them are very much what I would call “Midified”. Some people may like the sound of General Midi some may even like the sound of even 8 bit sounds that was used commonly in old games. I just think the whole thing is cheap and nasty.

Being a keyboard player myself and knowing what decent keyboards sound like is very much the factor why I detest these cheap and nasty sounds. But not all the sounds he uses are cheap and nasty, and I do understand why Matt chooses to use these sounds, and he is very much creating music to fit into cartoon animation in a way.

Though his music is very complex it still very much contains the dramatics that can be put into cartoon animation. But it also strikes me and speaks to me like very well structured music that one would find in the world of progressive rock and jazz fusion.

His music is way too sophisticated for even me to be able to play the keyboards too. But I am far from likes of George Duke and Herbie Hancock who are the type of skilled players you would very much need to play to this stuff. I am very much an amateur in relation to those players and Matt would need to find a very skilled keyboard player to replace some of the more complex keyboard parts he has programmed that’s for sure.

The Artwork…

As I have said in the past regarding the artwork Matt chooses for this project of his is that it’s simple, no thrills and perhaps does not really do the music on his albums any real justice. Well if you look at his music more seriously in the way I see it myself.

But Matt has perhaps more of a funny side to his sense of humour and is a big kid at heart. I think we all can be as well in many respects. It also must be the fact that his particular music is done in a way to suit animation which is why he chooses this type of artwork in the first place.

Though I have to confess myself (and please forgive me Matt) that the artwork he chose for Space Roots I really think is the worst album cover he’s come up with out of them all. It’s that bad it’s wins my all time worst album cover award :)))). It may be down to the choice of colour he used on it too :))))))).

Back To The Album Review…

There is no doubt the album Space Roots does tend to suffer a bit, and has a complete piece of work it’s not up to the standards of both the album (Sic) and the EP The Silence Of Perez de Cuellar. Though not all is lost here because it does have some really good material on it as well.

It is however my least favourite of The Bob Lazar Story albums, and for this review I am merely going to present you with the highlights of its good points and maybe some not so good points, rather than take you through every track.

The first thing I can tell you is that the album does kick off very well with it’s opening track entitled “It’s Thirteen“. It’s one of those pieces that weaves it’s way along in a menacing sort of way and goes through fine time signature changes and progression. It also contains some very well worked out melody lines between the keyboards and guitars from Matt, and Mike’s bass follows all the riffs and changes like glue.

The interplay between all 3 of them work very well on this track and although I have seen Kevin Roberts play live with both Mike & Matt on a couple of YouTube videos. This is his the first album of The Bob Lazar Story that he makes an appearance on. His drums certainly impress me a lot more on this studio track too, and he has done a bang on job here. Its a very strong contender for the best track on the album.

The longest track on the album “Two Vowels Contemplate The End Of The World” happens to be my favourite track on the album. It’s a track that has plenty of diversity with its changes and build. It also has a great bit of drama about it, and fits in very well with the space vibe with the use of the whistling saw wave sound used in it.

Instant Jedi” is a great little rocking number and perhaps more to the style of some of the great tracks that were on the debut album (Sic). Another couple of great tracks are “Mr Weiner Pants” and “Alive In The Mullet Zone“. Both have a really great groove and feel to them and there maybe even a bit of Zappa influence not just in the music, but also the titles here too.

Both of the other tracks with zany titles “Henry Kissinger Must Diet” and “I Haven’t Touched Your Dog, Mate” have a great chill factor pace about them but still contain the power to beef them up a bit. The first of the two here has more of jazz vibe about it. Both are really great tracks and are very well placed on the album to bring the tempo down a notch.

Another very strong contender for the top spot on the album is the 14th track on the album entitled “Rawk II“. This one weaves a bit of magic along the way with its changes and progression. Oddly enough this album does also contain “Rawk” which is a 16 second snippet. The strange thing here is that Matt has a rule will quite often put a track on an album that has a part 2 only, and your left wondering where part 1 got too :)))))).

Speaking along the same lines “Glass Eyed II” is a typical example of a track that has a part 2 and no part 1. This is another great track on the album and along with the two very short tracks I mentioned earlier “Late Night Guitar” and “Sirens” these 11 tracks for me personally are the strength and good points of the album.

The not so good points are the rest of the snippets and the 2nd longest track on the album entitled “Deadbiking Trilogy” and to be fair this 4 minute and 49 second track is purely magic on the last 1 minute and 49 seconds of it.

For me personally where I think it goes wrong is within the way the first 3 minutes of the piece is structured. Bearing in mind this is a trilogy and that final part of it, is the magical side of it all. It’s first two parts do not really offer enough variation to really distinguish any real difference in the music here. Basically the programmed midified keyboards are the very reason why too.

In a way listening to it all the way it’s been structured with the keyboard section, is like some sort of merry go round ride. Then from the moment Chris Jago’s drums come into play it totally kicks ass for the last section with all the real instrumentation. The last 1 minute and 49 seconds are pure bliss and completely blow away the 3 minutes that came before it. Had the piece of been constructed around the final part of the trilogy in the first place this would of perhaps been the best track on the album.

Another strange thing is that Matt has always featured a track on all 6 of his album and EP releases about his “Foodstool” and yes there is also one on this album. Only it’s a 24 second snippet he perhaps gave some sort of German sounding title to it by calling it “FuhdStewl“. Unfortunately in relation to the other 5 pieces he has done about his “Foodstool” this one does not tick any real boxes at all I am afraid.

Summary…

For me personally the album Space Roots does contain some great material on it, but it’s not really a solid album that works like the other 5 releases to date we have of The Bob Lazar Story. The snippets do not work that well simply because it’s overrun with them. It is a bit hampered by the production and how it’s been put together.

Never the less it still contains some well good strong tracks on it, and if like myself your addicted to the music of The Bob Lazar Story this album still has something going for it and is far from really being that bad at all.

Conclusion…

On a final note and to conclude my review of Space Roots by The Bob Lazar Story. I would say that it’s still worthy of getting even though it does not measure up and work like Matt’s other releases do to some extent. There is still some really great tracks on the album that you are getting here for its low price point, and on that score you cannot really go wrong.

You can listen to or grab your own personal copy of The Silence of Perez de Cuellar here : https://theboblazarstory.bandcamp.com/album/space-roots

The track listing of the album is as follows:

01. It’s Thirteen. 3:08
02. Synthyer. 0:07
03. Two Vowels Contemplate The End Of The World. 5:26
04. FuhdStewl. 0:24
05. Instant Jedi. 2:27
06. Rawk. 0:16
07. Mr Weiner Pants. 2:54
08. Techno Bert vs The Klezzies. 0:41
09. Alive In The Mullet Zone. 3:00
10. Deadbiking Trilogy. 4:49
11. Late Night Guitar. 0:42
12. Henry Kissinger Must Diet. 2:36
13. Lou Reed’s Haemorrhoids. 0:10
14. Rawk II. 3:22
15. I Haven’t Touched Your Dog, Mate. 3:53
16. Widdly Diddly. 0:25
17. Glass Eyed II. 3:04
18. Death To The Meat Whores. 0:12
19. Siren. 1:15

Lee’s EP Rating Score. 6/10.