Man, can I hear the theatrical side of The OF on It's a New World, the opening track of their new Escape Goat album. Equal parts Modest Mussorgsky and Richard Rodgers, it opens the curtain to one hellacious and adventurous album, the rock side teeming with jazz and art rock--- Zappa and, of all bands, The Flock slipping like a dense fog into what is maybe not a completely new world but one we have neither seen nor heard for awhile. First time I heard it, I did not hear the depth of what they were doing, but I loved Richard Rodgers (if you are a music fan, how could you not get Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, fer chrissakes!) and Zappa and, yes, The Flock, which cleared more than one dance floor back in the days when people actually danced, as weird as the dances were.
Then, just to throw you off a little, they segue into a choogling rocker, probably the band's best chance to gain an audience beyond us deep-track freaks. Damn Dirty Hippy steps into a funk/Sopwith Camel jam which makes your head spin a bit but not too much. It's the sax, I think, and great sax it is.
Track 3 (Escape Goat) kicks in, seven minutes of intense jam and then a longer but more sedate and even structured tune (Bottom Feeder) which would sound absolutely fantastic on acid or mescaline (especially with light show). Double Shift is a short interlude (2:56) of mainly guitar which is intriguing and then its is Cat Squeezer Blues, which had better be as good as it is (it is) with a title like that. Dig the mouth harp. You know, I thought that Refrigeration Leak was a filler because after all it is only 49 seconds, but it stands on its own, short as it is, and is perfect Van der Graaf Generator fodder lead-in to the brash thirteen-minute ender, Weezils, who by the sounds of it are ripping some more flesh.
I want to go on and on about these guys but that would involve days or weeks or even months of my time interviewing family members and childhood friends and various derelicts, days spent on the road for what are sure to be long and grueling tours, background checks and a whole string of sleuth-worthy activities and, truth be told, I have neither the time nor money. It is my hope that the ones who would love it are already heading to the Green Monkey Bandcamp Page to listen and those of you who don't want to go, well, continue listening to your Beatles and Rolling Stones and Who albums, if not your Beyonce and Kanye West. Yawn. By the way, if you do click through, do yourself a favor and check out Gary Minkler and Green Pajamas and King County Queens and a whole shit pile of great stuff. If you want recommendations, send me a note.
(Frank Gutch Jr. writes and has written for numerous magazines and websites, presently including this blog, his own website and the prestigious Don't Believe A Word I Say site put together by musician and music pundit Bob Segarini, out of Toronto. He specializes in the Indies, having fought hand-to-hand combat with major record labels for decades (talk about zombies). He believes music should be the core of the music business, though business it mostly be, and denies the accepted reality in the stead of the artistic one. Seldom does he receive pay for articles and/or reviews and believes that there is no place for negatives in a world in which one cannot keep up with the positives. He is, in a sense, a lost soul in a sea of music, drowning, but drowning gratefully.)