Oh, those Luttenbachers. Just when everything settles down into a nice quiet drone of "progressive improv," where everybody's happy and traversing the edge of realization unto sleep, they have to show up and destroy the world. Recorded in 1993 in Chicago, this lineup is spiritually -- if not musically -- linked to John Zorn's Naked City. Ken Vandermark and Jeb Bishop, along with drummer Weasel Walter, guitarist Dylan Posa, and saxophonist Chad Organ, are a compositional and improvisational terror. Opening with the lovely "The Critic Stomp," the Luttenbachers create swirling combinations of rock energy's most organized moments and stack them against the individual desire to cut out of the universe by screaming your way through your instrument. This continues though the dynamic changes from time to time, as on "Fist Through Glass," where a particularly knotty melodic line is played by the saxophones and Bishop on trombone, and then illustrated with the most distorted guitar accompaniment ever recorded. Walter has to keep everything past triple-eight time, so furious are the tempos, and he is assisted by Vandermark's sense of impeccable timing to carry a line to the end and stop it on a dime. Other notable tracks are "Coffeehouse in Flames," pulled out on occasion by the Vandermark 5, and "Eaten By Sharks," with its wraparound bassline and tenor solos that literally make you wish you had been anywhere but here when the horns started bleating. This is awesome, this is fun, this is wake the dead music that actually might.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek