Blind Idiot God

Undertow

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    8
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For its second album, Blind Idiot God enlisted the services of producer Bill Laswell, but the results show little difference from the attack evidenced on the band's initial release. Once again, the band alternates between surging instrumental barnburners like "Sawtooth" and "Drowning" and spare, evocative dub-oriented songs. Both are handled with the same imagination and confidence that the group had previously exhibited; this was one extremely tight and talented power trio. Andy Hawkins' compositions often take surprising turns during their short duration, themes bending and elongating in a manner providing delicious tension. Ted Epstein's drumming is a marvel to hear, combining an overwhelming strength with an unusual subtlety of rhythmic choices that one doesn't often hear in music as ostensibly rock-based as this. Two tracks stand out as departures from the group's first album: a cover of George Clinton's "Alice in My Fantasies" wherein Blind Idiot God shows that it can also handle power funk quite capably, and the final cut, "Purged Specimen." For this number, the trio is joined by saxophonist, composer (he wrote the piece), and lover of hardcore thrash John Zorn. The track sounds much more like a Naked City song than a typical Blind Idiot God rave-up though, again, it's an example of the band successfully navigating hitherto unexplored territory. Listeners who enjoyed the band's debut album will find more of the same here, even if they suspect that a bit of a rut is being established.

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