Momentum & Wag

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It has been four years since Palinckx's previous studio album -- long years. Momentum & Wag builds over the change of direction It's Frontal Dog introduced, bringing the music closer to a punkish form of rock & roll, although much more demented than you might think at first. The Palinckx brothers and singer Han Buhrs are complemented this time by turntablist Donotoask, a new drummer in Alan Purves, plus a cast of guests. The days of Psychedelic Years and Covers are definitely over, but now the group has settled comfortably into its new song-based style. "Momentum & Wag," "Normal," and "Don't Be Late" are good rock songs, full of quirks once you duck their apparent simplicity. But the highlights are elsewhere, in the opener "Hell Is Cool" (featuring the organ work of Martin Scholz) and the complicated "Smooth Simularity." "Dream 13 Revisited" adds another chapter to the ongoing story of Henry, while "La-Scia-Te" is the strangest Monteverdi-derived piece you are likely to encounter. And yet it is not as off-kilter as the group's updating of Kraftwerk's "Das Modell," simply hilarious. Buhrs sings in English, French, and German at various points in the album, using an arsenal of effects to enhance his already highly expressive voice -- and Jacques Palinckx' guitar playing is still as mad as ever.

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