Critters Buggin'


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To be "buggin' out" is to be visibly obsessing and prone to exaggerated emotional displays. That is, when someone is "buggin' out," it is as if their eyes are about to "bug out" of their heads. Critters Buggin' freely "bug out" over a simple idea on this album of heavy rock-based electronica. The lineup of Critters is an impressive roster of traveled and experienced musicians that have, at various times, been part of Pearl Jam, John Doe's band, Spin Doctors, Edie Brickell's New Bohemians, Wayne Horvitz' group, and beyond. The opening cut is a tough, "funkoid" bassline that careens wildly (as an out of control truck) around a tirade against the evils of water fluoridation. The fluoride concerned monologist could be the young voice of Negatviland's David Wills. The piece dissipated like evaporating tap water into a free jazz horn solo. That free jazz melody takes on teeth as more funk tonnage drops in with long-noted, descending keyboard lines and brooding cellos in "Brozo the Clown." The most interesting rhythms are a jerky floor tom and tom-tom upholding what sounds to be a cocky baritone sax in call and answer with a maudlin tenor saxophone. This mind-bending trio takes a dada (Zappa, Beefheart, etc.) approach to integrating horns and a funk-rock rhythm section à la Soul Coughing.

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