Eugene Chadbourne

Horror, Pt. 4: The Thing With Two Heads

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Among the heaps of strange releases by Eugene Chadbourne, this one stands in the five percent, top-of-the-pyramid strangest. Identified as part four in the "Horror" series, it has particularly strong ties with Horror, Part 3: X the Man With the X-Ray Eyes (Horror Part III). Both are presented as tributes to Ray Milland (a B-series horror flick actor) and both have a sound collage feel. Horror, Part 4: The Thing With Two Heads consists of a collage of various sound sources in the first three of these 11 untitled parts. Then the music shifts to light metal-hitting and scraping that strongly recalls Hugh Davies and his junk sculpture instruments -- liner notes hint at an electrified birdcage and the immortal electric rake. In parts six and seven, the Doctor destroys his now-broken-down mixing board using an axe. The remaining half-hour is filled with more rake, acoustic and electric guitar, and various objects, all performed one at a time in one take recorded with a single overhead microphone (at least that's what it sounds like). Clocking in at 79 minutes, this album (released as a CDR on Chadbourne's own home imprint, House of Chadula) is long, painful, and offers little rewards for the effort required from the listener. Even for fans of Chadbourne's bizarre, most out-there music, it lacks something. The concept is interesting, but the performance fails to convince. The homemade cover features pieces of the actual mixing board. There is no prize if you collect them all.

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