On Dense Band, percussionist and insane vocalist David Moss picks up where he left off with his preceding effort, Full House, expanding the number of musicians in a given piece but keeping to brief durations in an attempt to formulate a kind of avant-garde pop song. As the band's name implies, the sound is significantly denser and, partly due to this fact, the music is more successful. Moss also appeared more comfortable using vigorous, almost rock-like rhythms, giving the tunes a richer bed in which to layer more abstract squeals, turntable samples, and clattering percussion. But the most important difference is that guitarist Fred Frith co-composed all of the pieces. His imaginative sense of structure provides exactly the sort of "corral" that serves to accentuate Moss' talents most clearly. Many of the musicians from Full House reappear here and are also shown to better advantage. Frith, turntablist Christian Marclay, and the late cellist Tom Cora all shine throughout. But it's the cohesion of the entire package that makes this set work as well as it does. The goal of using pop song concision melded with improvisatory creativity was at least partially achieved here. If Dense Band didn't sell a million copies, well, that's the public's loss. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Brian Olewnick