Acid Mothers Temple

St. Captain Freak Out and the Magic Bamboo Request

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    4
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This time out, the Acid Mothers Temple collective tackle the concept album, or more accurately, a trip-opera as the band have called it. It "follows" the adventures of St. Captain Freak Out, but finding any sort of story line in the sonic soup within is impossible. Even song titles are of no help, but "A Bamboo Is as Close as Miss Trout to Mashmallows" and "Maggot Head Cheese" provide some provocative imagery. Musically, the band is in full flight, with full-on performances from Koizumi Hajime on drums and third-eye guitarist Kawabata Makoto on all types of stringed instruments. But the band's attack is hindered by a substandard and somewhat muddy mix. "Maggot Head Cheese" is an overpowering piece, with the entire band in backs-to-the-wall freakout mode, but everything sounds indistinct, the bass sounds overloaded, and only the cymbals and wah-wah guitar rise above the sonic mess. It's a shame that a band this extraordinary sounds so under-produced and unfocused on this album. There is some stellar material on here ("Dead Man Is Smoking," "Sweet Lucille or Lick My Milk Off, Baby"), for those with the patience to sift through 70 minutes of sludge to find it. Those versed in the Acid Mothers Temple experience know just what to expect here, but for others, there are easier roads inside. This release does have some of the best cover art, being an Acid Mothers-centric version of the Sgt. Pepper's cover, as appropriated by Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.