Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Crisis in Clay
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Second installment from monster band 5UU's, featuring rock complexity, extraordinary production (by bassist, singer Bob Drake) and high energy precision mixed with eccentric songwriting. People that work this hard are beco... more »
Second installment from monster band 5UU's, featuring rock complexity, extraordinary production (by bassist, singer Bob Drake) and high energy precision mixed with eccentric songwriting. People that work this hard are becoming an endangered species. Extraordinary.
J. Speer | Philadelphia, PA | 06/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the most atonal and difficult-listening rock albums I've ever heard -- it's dizzying and totally fearless. Strangely, it's also incredibly gorgeous! Stockhausen meets Yes meets math rock. Their compositions sound as if they were the pinnacle of a long and widespread tradition, and it's sometimes difficult to keep in mind how unique their music actually is.5uu's singer's vocal quality invites comparison to Jon Anderson of Yes, who themselves had a good helping of prog-rock in their repertoire once upon a time. It is brought to mind what might have happened if Yes had chosen a more uncompromisingly musical path after "Tales from Topographic Oceans."Absolutely not for everyone, but for those of you who like this kind of thing, you will ADORE 5uu's and thank heaven you somehow managed to hear about them. You know who you are."
A. Temple | Ann Arbor, MI | 02/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Review #1, for people familiar with the RIO ("Rock in Opposition") genre: This is probably the second-best RIO album I've heard, after Thinking Plague's "In This Life." Stylistically, it's rather similar to TP's "In Extremis", but pretty much every song here has the focus, catchiness and creativity of the first two or three tracks on that album, making this one by far the better release. I also like this better than the 5uu's previous album, "Hunger's Teeth", because it's further from their prog roots. (If you like 70s prog, feel free to ignore this statement.)Review #2, for people who are just looking for something different: Imagine the lead singer of Yes singing for a band consisting of Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Bartok on heavy electric guitars and drums. Dense, often atonal, quite noisy. Heavily structured, no song going over 5 minutes. Several thematic cross-references and self-quotations. Standard rock band instrumentation plus occasional violin, vibes, lots of electronics, and what sounds like an accordion on "Bought the Farm" (one of my favorite tracks). Probably more sheer energy than I've ever heard anywhere else (try "Weaponry", for example). My only criticism is that the texture throughout is very thick, and could use a little more variety.Review #3, for people who are afraid of dissonance or irregular meter: Go away. We don't like you."
One of the most crafty rock albums you'll ever hear.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 03/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a big challenge as it is relentlessly dense, complex, and pretty much entirely atonal (whereas _Hunger's Teeth_ had a tasty variety of tonalities). Take the opener, "Comeuppance", for example: the guitar riff is in 53/32 time, with the rhythm section integrating displaced triplets, a weird vocal melody, wacky out-of-sync keyboards, and an array of weird percussion instruments (mousetraps and bicycle bells, for instance). And the ending is downright headbangable. "Comeuppance" is pretty much indicative of what the rest of the album is like -- you don't get a break from Dave Kerman's opaque, fastidious rock songs. The production is ingenious, as the album with recorded at Chris Cutler's farm in France with very limited equipment.With 15 such tracks, the album is very hard to digest (track 16, "Ringing in the New Ear", is just a minute or so of nothing, really). It doesn't matter that most of the songs are in the two-to-four minute range. This is a tough album. The Art Bears influence is pretty distant at this point, and the 5uu's are now a loud, tenacious band with factory-like precision. Oh, and if you've heard that Bob Drake sounds like Jon Anderson, it should be noted that Jon Anderson has never sang with such hyperactive, nasty energy. And even when some of the synth tones approach cheesy levels, the dissonant chord progressions keep the sound delicious.But damn it, this album is lots of fun. There're even a few parts in 4/4. "Goliath in the Sights" is a heavy rock song, "Absolutely, Absolute" is a mutant, rhythmically irregular pop song, and some really unusual atmospheres created through sonic ingenuity on songs like "Cirrus" and "December". The music, while often meticulously composed, still has an exuberant spontaneity, like on "Simply Agree", where Kerman and Drake assembled the song from independently written parts that just happened to go nicely together. "Bought the Farm" has downright cheerful keyboards melodies broken up by clomping, crashing rhythms that are quite scary...Most people seem to prefer _Hunger's Teeth_, but don't skip _Crisis in Clay_ (I think I like it a bit more)."