Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CD Review: Rob Magill "From The Year 1842" (Weird Cry Records)

As a fan of the cassette more than any other media my first thought process going through this CD was noticing that the first track was a little over 21 minutes and the subsequent tracks were not nearly as long but ranged from thirty seconds to six minutes in length, though some were the typical two to three minutes in length.    I thought about it in the sense that perhaps all of these other tracks add up to the same length or less than what the first track is so that the first track would be a Side A and then the rest of them would all be on Side B.   Yes, that is just my sort of cassette-based thinking though.  

The first song is made up entirely of that crazy saxophone and through all of the squeals and shakes I am somewhat surprised by the fact that it just seems to keep going.   I'm not sure whether or not Rob Magill just played this piece through or not in one take, but it certainly does sound like it to me simply because I don't know where the place to pause would have been during recording.   There are some slight places of rest that you can hear during this madness, but you must still applaud the stamina of Rob Magill that comes with his musicianship.   

On the second song (My Side B if I'm a cassette) we open with a flurry of drums and then the horns and even a guitar bring forth the full on jazz apocalypse.   It is a good example of controlled chaos and isn't really "noise jazz" or "jazz noise" because while the horns can be sporadic it has the steady drum beat of something closer to punk or thrash.    What if you took the sort of metal elements out of System of a Down and replaced them with horns instead?   This might be the result if you really think about it.  

From there these songs go into acoustic guitar melodies, electric distortion ala Hendrix, then back to acoustic and with singing this time.   There is a rambling to it, some whooshes and then the horns come on for a full band sound.   The second to last song is like reading poetry over grinding guitars and he says "It's a bad truth" and I kind of want to write a book- of course a pulp crime novel- called "Bad Truth".     The end comes with a quieter, softer sax, cymbal rides and strings which I always refer to as violin but may in fact be some other instrument you use a bow to play.   

Whether or not it was the intent of Rob Magill for this album, I do like to think of it as being split into two with the first song as Side A and then everything else as Side B.   It could work just the same with a record I suppose but I still like to think of it as being a cassette and so I take a little pause every time I finish the first track and pretend like I'm going to flip the cassette and then I start the rest of it.   If I had a cassette that was about forty minutes long I'd surely put this on a cassette for my own listening pleasure, but for what I know right now I don't and will just stick with the CD as it is magnificent.  

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