The Caution Appears

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Listeners coming from a rock orientation who are curious about Japanese monster guitarist Keiji Haino and his power trio Fushitsusha would be well-advised to begin their investigations with this disc. Whereas the group is normally (and, arguably, at its best) a sprawling, just barely in control affair, the performances on this release have a concision and brute strength that would be the envy of many a psychedelic thrash band. Several very short tracks have something in common with the brutal mini-massacres of Zorn's Naked City, while the longer pieces are about as close as Haino has come to the work of musicians like Casper Brötzmann or Justin Broadrick. The bass and drums, unlike on some other Fushitsusha albums, are mixed at an equal level with the guitar, and tend to lock into robust grooves, providing a more stable than usual platform for Haino's stratospheric (though resolutely non-pyrotechnic) explorations. But this band still tears most of its competition to shreds in terms of both inspiration and sheer abandon, making The Caution Appears both a fine, if severe, introduction as well as a welcome addition to the Fushitsusha catalog that longtime fans will savor. Track titles, all instrumental, are not listed.

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