Gang Font featuring Interloper is certainly the most "rock" entry in Thirsty Ear's Blue Series, not surprising given the participation of a former member of Hüsker Dü (Greg Norton). Given that the rest of the band consists of one of avant-jazz's most exciting keyboard players (Craig Taborn) and members of the Bad Plus and/or Happy Apple (Dave King and Erik Fratzke), you can be sure that it's going to be a lot more challenging than your basic rock & roll. And that it is: polyrhythmic, angular riffs and frequent time changes are the order of the day here. But most of it is also fairly catchy and well written, not just tricky for tricky's sake. Several tracks have a particularly Beefhearty flavor, like "Homage: Claude Schnell" and "The Litigious Mike Love." "The Familiar Cadence of Banging" is almost metal while "A Chance to Play Across the Shadows" has an odd serpentine melody and allows room for Taborn to do some really creative things with the timbre of his keys during his solo. "Herman Ze German Cassette" sounds more like improvisation (despite King's writing credit) with everyone taking a turn at the lead but mostly chasing Taborn's organ. The album loses a bit of steam on the ominous "Let's Go Find a Quiet Place to Cool Down," an exercise in spooky atmosphere that goes on longer than it needs to, despite some nice feedback work from Fratzke and more odd sounds from Taborn. But they get right back on track for the closing tunes, returning to the cool angular rock that started the album. All in all, a nice debut for these Minneapolis All-Stars.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard