Eugene Chadbourne

Horror, Pt. 1: Tribute to Horror Monsters and Bad Luck

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If you are well acquainted with Eugene Chadbourne's music, Horror, Pt. One is not scary. If you are not, any of the Doctor's numerous records will seem utterly frightful. What it means: This CD features the usual mix of inspired live improvisations, mad avant-garde compositions, and crude tape editing found in many of his home releases. The difference resides in the horror theme reflected by the track titles ("Godzilla's Destruction of the Blue Train," "Censored Section of Cheap Mexican Vampire Movie") and certain choices of cover tunes, especially Albert Ayler's "Witches and Devils" and two Halloween-related Irish medleys. The magnum opus on this CD is the 22-minute "House by the Cemetary" dedicated to Lucio Fulci and featuring Joee Conroy, Norman Minogue, Steve Good, Dan Plonsey, and Walter Malli. A collage of various performances (at least that's what it sounds like), it contains some very noisy free improv. The other tracks feature smaller groups, from a quartet on "The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock" to a couple of banjo solos. Completely instrumental, Horror, Pt. One is easier to digest and more rewarding than the "Insect and Western" series the Doctor was getting involved with at the same time. His rendition of the Ayler tune deserves mention and the dulcimer and electric toaster duet, "Censored Section of Cheap Mexican Vampire Movie," is delightfully stupid. Not an essential item, this CD still belongs to the man's honest output of the late '90s.

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