Father Yod

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The last of the trio of Father Yod LPs that were divided into two lengthy side-long tracks merely labeled "Side A" and "Side B." It's the best, lengthiest (about 35 minutes where the previous pair had been about 25), and strangest of these (which is saying something, giving how unflaggingly strange Yod and Yahowa were). "Side A" starts off sounding something like a sub-Band band stretching out, with its laid-back tempo and piano-organ interplay, albeit with a horrible, inept singer/lyricist (Father Yod, of course). It just gets weirder and weirder: duels between shrieking guitars and organs, unearthly, stratospheric, moaning backup vocals from Ahom, and periodic intervention of loony ranting from Yod, coming off as an unholy cross between Captain Beefheart, Wild Man Fischer, and Bruce Hampton. Ham-fisted piano runs, low electric guitar grunts, lilting flute, high wobbles from what sounds like a Jew's harp -- it veers from course to course but does not settle into any one groove or pattern. It's low on melody, of course, but as far as this kind of outre improv rock goes, it's rather more inspired than quite a few other more professional and serious outings of the sort. It's often creepy and sinister as well as unhinged, something that sets it apart from the more benign lunacy of the prior Father Yod albums, and also something that helps make it more interesting. It also helps that Father Yod's presence is somewhat more low profile, and his vocals, still hard to bear, are less concerned with loopy philosophizing than blending in with the chaos as just one more improvising instrument. The album has been reissued as one disc of the 13-CD God and Hair: Yahowha Collection box set.