Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar

World Tour 1998

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There are several layers of perversity in evidence here: the Biblical wordplay in the band name, the "Nearly a Million Copies Sold!" notice on the front cover, and the fact that the CD (which consists of two previously-released LPs, World Tour and Fin de Siecle) was released in 1995 rather than 1998. All should serve as a tip-off to the attentive listener: this may be an avant-garde supergroup, but it's not one that takes itself very seriously. Guitarists Andre Duchesne, Rene Lussier, Jean-Pierre Bouchard, and Roger Boudrealt (helped out on drums by the redoubtable Chris Cutler) serve up a consistently impressive, if not always completely enthralling, program of carefully composed weirdness that never devolves into freeform skronk but sometimes gets just a bit too longwinded for its content. This is more of a problem on the first part of the album (World Tour), with its rather boring four-part "La Chute de la Maison d'Usher" and the rather circus-y "Ton Corps dans Ma Memoire" The second part (Fin de Siecle) is more tightly organized and consistently fun. Overall, this is an album that is sure to appeal to fans of Henry Cow and of Fred Frith's solo work, and to guitarists of all stripes.

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