Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
The re-formed 5UU's first CD, featuring, one-of-a-kind drummer Dave Kerman with new line-up- Sanjay Kumar (keyboards) and Bob Drake (Bass, Guitar, Vocals) and guests Susanne Lewis, Tom Dimuzio, and James Grigsby. Power, co... more »
The re-formed 5UU's first CD, featuring, one-of-a-kind drummer Dave Kerman with new line-up- Sanjay Kumar (keyboards) and Bob Drake (Bass, Guitar, Vocals) and guests Susanne Lewis, Tom Dimuzio, and James Grigsby. Power, complexity and intelligence - an express train that can pirouette on a dime.
A. Temple | Ann Arbor, MI | 09/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...Anyway, although 5uu's were around since the 80s, this was their breakthrough album. I haven't heard their early work, but it's said to be rather dull and overly derivative of Art Bears. For this 1994 album, composer and drummer Dave Kerman completely recreated his group as a trio consisting of himself, keyboardist Sanjay Kumar, and vocalist and bassist Bob Drake, also of Thinking Plague. (TP vocalist Susanne Lewis also makes an appearance on the last two tracks.) The music is quite excellent--complex and beautiful, by turns chaotically dissonant and uneasily diatonic. Unlike the 1997 follow-up, _Crisis in Clay_, _Hunger's Teeth_ has a wide variety of textures, from the dense, thick hard rock sound of "Glue" to the stripped-down feel of "Equus." Often there will be a variety of textures within the same song, as in "Geronimo," which ranges from delicate passages for voice and keyboard to polyrhythmic cacophony. The compositions also vary a lot harmonically, from the atonality of the opener to the jazzy quasi-modality of "Bachelor Needle" and the displaced triads of "Roan" (which, incidentally, includes an absolutely killer guitar solo). There are also two weird little interludes which give the album a bit of extra variety: Thom DiMuzio's electronic piece "Mangate" and Bob Drake's demented barbershop song "The Shears."
Aside from the unusual clarity and accessibility of the music, the main feature that sets this apart from most American RIO is a nod to 70s progrock, which is odd, since Kerman is a confirmed and avid Yes-hater. This is partially the result of Drake's rather Jon-Anderson-like voice. It's also partially due to the use of keyboard synths, although these are almost always used tastefully. There is even what appears to be a deliberate nod to Gentle Giant at the end of "Geronimo": a few notes played on a Moog followed by a tambourine rattle (shades of "The Face"?) and synthesized applause ("Proclamation"?). Given this element, this is probably the first album to check out if you're a symphonic prog fan interested in RIO. However, even if, like me, you're an avant-rock junkie who can't stand most symph, you'll probably still get a kick out of this album."
One of the Greatest Ever, of Anything
J. Speer | Philadelphia, PA | 05/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not just one of the best recordings of music, 5uu's Hunger's Teeth qualifies as on of the best physical objects of all time. It's that good. That it's out of print is some kind of crime.Not everyone will like this music. Probably only about 5% of you reading this will think it is any good at all, frankly. When you consider buying this cd, answer yourself these questions:Do you like Gentle Giant, but wish they were much more atonal and bold sounding?Do you think the best Yes album was Tales From Topographic Oceans?Hmm there are probably some more questions you should ask yourself. 5uu's is part of a movement in rock called "Rock in Opposition," which apparently does not care for ay kind of commercially redeeming convention, and is determined to rub it into your face.If you like having that sort of thing rubbed in your face, as I apparently do, then be like me and try to buy Hunger's Teeth somewhere. I only have a borrowed copy myself. Meanwhile, go buy the similar album "Crisis in Clay," also by 5uu's, which is available."
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 02/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the 5uu's first album after they reformed, and it is rightly considered an avant-rock classic. The core lineup is drummer Dave Kerman, bassist (and guitarist and violinist and...) Bob Drake, and keyboardist Sanjay Kumar. Helping out with the album is Tom DiMuzio (electronics), Susanne Lewis (omg I'm in love with her...well, her voice at least, hehe), and James Grigsby (guitars and vibes). Not to mention the band's, erm, resourceful sounds (the solo on "Well...,Not Chickensh*t" is Grigsby's guitar being rubbed against a mic stand; on "Roan" has polyrhythms on aerosol cans; on "Equus" the sounds of walking are created by Michelle Bos running her fingers through blue aquarium gravel).The music? It's outstanding. Throw it in the RIO 'category' or the avant-rock profile: it is _rock_, basically, but the music is thoroughly composed, full of atonal harmonic language, Eastern European modality, off-the-wall time signatures, and strange percussions. Yet for all its complexity and avant-garde inclinations, the music is energetic and catchy, and immediately likable without any cost to its long-term appeal. Bob Drake's voice _does_ sound a little bit like Jon Anderson's, especially on the higher notes, but it should be noted that they barely sing alike. The wonderful Susanne Lewis sings the last two songs, the mysterious "Equus" and catchy math-rock of "Traveler Waits for No One" (just try and notate that one correctly...). "Well...,Not Chickensh*t" is the catchy opener, with tricky time-signatures (17/16, 17/16, 18/16, 17/16 on the main riff), raving vocals, spine-cracking bass lines, a scored percussion solo (filled out with a slide whistle), and a guitar solo that defines the term BATTLE DAMAGE. "Glue" is an aggressive rock song with a disorienting mix (although that might not mean what you think), powered by a fat rhythm and smoking electronic organ. "Truth, Justice and the American Way" is a tribute to one of Kerman's personal heroes, Paul Robeson, with an ominous, rumbling opening, some drunken spiky atonal piano playing, and catchy vocal counterpoints. "Traveler Waits for No One" is extremely tight and complex, but Susanne Lewis' wonderful, feisty vocals make it catchy too. "Geronimo" is a powerful piece builds on quiet vocals, percussion, and keys into a grumbling (yet fully composed) noise onslaught. "Equus" is written around a Tom DiMuzio electronic piece, with subtle motivic progression, atonal eeriness, and a slow, splintered odd-meter middle section where Dave Kerman's drumming shines. There are two oddities that add some diversity. "Mangate" is Tom DiMuzio's excellent piece for tape. "The Sheers" is a twisted barbershop quartet done by Bob Drake, complete with creepy lyrics and the sounds of a squeaky door, snipping scissors, and evil sounding electronics (or something). I guess my one complaint is that Susanne Lewis' songs are back-loaded as the last and second-last songs on the disc, when it might have been better to mix them up (although I usually listen to my cds on "shuffle" so it's not a big deal to me).If you're looking for what happens to rock with some extra compositional sophistication musicality, and imagination, you should give this album a try. It is truly excellent, and I highly recommend it. Note that this is the Kerman/Drake/Kumar 5uu's, the second incarnation of the band. The band's first two albums, _Bel Marduk & Tiamat_ and _Elements_ are available on the Cuneiform two-fer, _Point of Views_ (it also features some extra stuff). The last two 5uu's albums, _Regarding Purgatories_ and _Abandonship_, are under "Dave Kerman/5uu's", where Kerman takes on most of the instrumental roles himself (with Thinking Plague's Deborah Perry on vocals) and the compositions are long, complex, and elaborate, and less song-based. But for an introduction, this is an excellent choice. I really dig this album."