Bill Brovold

Childish Delusions

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This recording could almost be referred to as a split release between Bill Brovold and Larval, his main working ensemble, as four of the ten tracks feature that band. These four tracks, however, make up the bulk of the music, as the non-Larval tracks tend to be quite short in comparison. Nearly all the tunes employ a similar minimalist aesthetic: musical figures repeated and then varied ever so slightly as different instruments come to the forefront. However, minimalist does not mean the tunes don't rock out at times. In fact, "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back" and "Under the Ice" are reminiscent of mid-period King Crimson tunes, like "Red" or "Lark's Tongue in Aspic." Other compositions are slightly more static; fairly simple and subtle changes provide an almost ambient feeling, similar to some of Glen Branca's symphonies or the Japancakes. The larger scale Larval tunes (featuring violin and cello) are broken up nicely by the shorter, more solo oriented Brovold pieces, which range from the beautiful, contemplative and acoustic "Night Tammy Wynette Died" to the almost punk rock freneticism of "Attention Span." The impetus for the album is also the weakest track. "Den 5" has Brovold's son's Cub Scout troop picking up Larval's instruments for a prepubescent free jazz romp; a nice idea with only mildly musical results. The rest of the album has a certain majestic beauty that further reveals itself over successive listenings. All in all, Childish Delusions is a fine effort that combines rock textures with a composed classical sensibility.

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