The Flying Luttenbachers

Gods of Chaos

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None of the Flying Luttenbachers' albums is easy listening, but Gods of Chaos is especially abrasive and over the top. A concept album about "the end of the human race," it does actually convey the sense that a story is taking place -- a feat considering that there are no lyrics -- and the story is not a pleasant one. The CD begins humorously, with a drunken announcer trying repeatedly to get the band's name right. Just as he does, though, a hideous, shrieking blast of guitar noise breaks out, continuing for a merciless four-and-a-half minutes. What's remarkable is that after this audience-thinning track, the band manages to keep upping the tension and taking things even farther into uncharted areas. Track four (there are no individual titles) sounds like the Weasels Ripped My Flesh-era Mothers of Invention being run through a giant distortion pedal, while track six is an exceptionally hyper piece of fidgety, blipping- and crackling-free space jazz. (Unfortunately, it goes on about three minutes too long; maybe this is the intentional tediousness referred to in the liner notes?). By the time the grindcore blasts end in the middle of track nine and the moaning and construction work (sic) kick in, all one can do is sit back, stare at the speakers, and wonder how they could possibly still be going at it. And then it really does get chaotic, the next ten minutes constituting a tangled mess of bashing drums, distorted-beyond-recognition screams, shrill saxophones, and more guitar noise. Unfortunately, things grow tedious here too, though Weasel Walter and company eventually bring it all back in for a somewhat melodic concluding track, which recalls one of Captain Beefheart's gentler instrumentals. So who will be left standing at the end of Gods of Chaos? Only the most hardened, shock-resistant, and, perhaps, the most patient noise enthusiasts. Or, in other words, established fans of the Flying Luttenbachers who have some idea of what to expect but who want to hear something really ambitious yet are also willing to deal with a few sporadic flaws.

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