Brand X

Unorthodox Behaviour

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Phil Collins' seemingly endless well of energy afforded him two careers: one as the drummer/vocalist in Genesis, and a second as a prolific session musician. It was in this second scenario that Collins hooked up with Percy Jones, John Goodsall, and Robin Lumley during sessions for Brian Eno, Eddie Howell, and Jack Lancaster. The quartet soon formed Brand X, a fusion jazz band that matched the prodigious rhythms of Collins and fretless bassist Jones with the atmospheric melodies of Goodsall and Lumley. Unorthodox Behaviour sets the stage for what would follow: music that plies the same sonic territory as Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the like, punctuated by the distinctive styles of individual members. The songs, though credited to the band, reveal two factions at work, with Jones and Collins teaming for percussive sections and Goodsall and Lumley handling the lyrical passages. When Jones and Collins take the lead, as on the opening "Nuclear Burn" and sections of "Unorthodox Behaviour" and "Running on Three," the music takes a frenetic, mathematical tack. Goodsall and Lumley generally provide the mood, the dominant trait on "Euthanasia Waltz" and "Touch Wood." Middle ground is found on the funky "Born Ugly" and "Smacks of Euphoric Hysteria," true fusions of rock and jazz. Unorthodox Behaviour samples a variety of styles: from melodic to energetic, ethereal to mathematical. Without a standout soloist like John McLaughlin or Wayne Shorter, Brand X does run the risk of sounding like a generic fusion jazz outfit, but their compositional skills pick up the slack nicely. Those interested in the band may do well to start with this album, although their next three records are just as good in terms of quality.

blue highlight denotes track pick