5uu's / Dave Kerman

Abandonship

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Released barely two years after Regarding Purgatories, Abandonship confirms Dave Kerman's grip over the moniker 5uu's. The previous album marked the drummer's debut as the group's uncontested leader, but it also featured other musicians. All music on this CD was written and performed by Kerman. There are two other group members listed: Thinking Plague singer Deborah Perry and sound engineer Udi Koomran. The album was conceived and recorded during a stay in Tel Aviv (Israel), but there is hardly a local color permeating the music. No, it still stands close to the other projects he is involved with -- Thinking Plague, Present -- while retaining a distinctive identity. Kerman's music is less song-oriented than Mike Johnson's group, less gloomy and heavy than Roger Trigaux's outfit. Rhythm provides the backbone of course, a jagged bone. The music is more detuned, experimental, and includes a lot of samples, odd sounds, and textures weaving a shroud in the background. Of all the avant-prog bands revolving around the Motor Totemist Guild/U Totem/5uu's axis, Kerman's project has become the most demanding. Some may miss the days of Crisis in Clay, but some tracks -- like "Couple #3 Is a Solo," "Noah's Flame," and the great closer "Belly-Up" -- will indulge their prog rock tooth. His work is getting more abstract, but it remains fascinating. Still, one cannot dispute the fact that Abandonship lacks some of the charm found in the group's previous albums.

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