The Sediments

American Cheese: Demos

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American Cheese: Demos claims to be an advance, informal version of a project to be finished perhaps by 2004 or the year after; then again, there is no telling just exactly what bandleader Pink Bob actually has planned. In reality, this could be as complete a form of American Cheese as will ever be slapped on the alternative rock listener's plate. The question might be what improvements could possibly be made, as these demos do not sound like demos made by many other musicians. The normal concept of a demo is that while it is supposed to reveal the magic within a song or the raw, basic talents of the performers, there is also supposed to be something wrong with it, something unfinished or not quite realized. This is hardly the case in this program of 14 songs that are startling and hilarious and feature a lot of hot, spontaneous-sounding lead guitar from midwest legend Ken Thornton, as well as vocals and keyboard dexterity from Pink Bob. "Goodnight Afghanistan" and "Democracy Inaction" are two of the finer ditties to be inspired by the war on terror, whereas "The Psychic Polka" continues Pink Bob's infatuation with diverse rhythms. Whatever the song structure, the performances here seem well rehearsed, the players past the edge of just learning where the ropes are. Frank Zappa completists can be on the lookout for a cover version of "Let's Make the Water Turn Black."

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