This 2010 album of “Experimental / Prog / Rawk” (their quote) from four Florida “Taters” . Each is named respectively, either in a bid for anonymity, or in an attempt at humour, Baked (drums), Fried (bass), Scalloped ( alto sax/electronics) and, of course, Mashed (guitars/ vocals/ electronics /objects). The album was recorded live by David Mikeal, and then fiddled with.
It sounds good, the band work well off each other with the Sax (provided by Scalloped Tater) displaying Zorn-ish “melodic to schizophrenic” tendencies. There are 10 tracks. Each band member gets a short spoken track in which they’re “humorously” introduced by a narrator. The remaining tracks are all five minute plus workouts, segueing between shouty rock and jazzcore, stopping at most points between. Two of the tracks “Amputation Suite” and ” G.T.S./ Something For the Heads” clock-in at over eleven and fourteen minutes respectively. Hope fully you’ve got the general gist of where this band wants to go.
At points the tracks lurch like a slightly more uptight Naked City, at others the dread spectre of Frank Zappa rears it’s head with the stop-start dynamics and slightly hectoring delivery of the “funny” lyrics. Some moments reminded me of Primus /Funkadelic/ The Locust, but in a positive way. The opener, “Blues O Doom” sets the stall out early, jerking from blues riff to rock-out before heading into jazz territory. The band’s confidence is evident and the performance is dynamically assured. Mucch the same can be said of the other tracks.
Overall, I can’t find much to complain about here. The band play well, stretch out the tracks where necessary and it doesn’t seem like padding. To these ears, the humorous content seems to undermine what is a tightly focused piece of work, but maybe that’s just me. I never “got” the humour in Zappa, either.
Note – you can stream the album here.