An intriguing idea: Take New York experimentalist, math geek, and severe noise proponent Elliott Sharp and form a trio with the ferocious rhythm section of everyone's favorite post-punk hardcore band, the Minutemen. Stir and allow to improvise. The resulting concoction is a fairly heady brew of pounding rhythms, warped samples, cascading noise guitar, and even the occasional dub groove. Sharp's guitar playing often sounds most inspired when soaring atop a strong foundation and that's often the case here. Whether launching into rippling streams of notes on the fast-paced "Empty-Vee" (get it?) or careening into the spare, arid space of "Long Beach Dub/Feen," Sharp is in very fine form here. Hurley and Watt have no trouble keeping up and, indeed, on tracks like "Maneuvers" clearly spur on the guitarist with a fine mix of earthy rock patterns and noise. Sharp employs sampler-generated voices from time to time that he intends as mordant social commentary but which, in truth, only deflect attention from the far more interesting musical goings on. Sharp fans will want to have this one in their collections, especially those listeners who enjoy his Carbon and Terraplane ensembles. Those more enamored of his "classical" pieces might wish to exercise caution.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick