Linus Pauling Quartet

The Horns of Ammon

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The Linus Pauling Quartet continue flying the flag of Texas' own way around psych rock stomp on The Horns of Ammon, drawing on songs mostly written some years before its 2010 release to show another example of wry wit, feedback, and fuzz and a sense that there's no reason to give up on something that at its best can be so very satisfying. The aforementioned wit is one of those key things they've always shown, but it's always refreshing to hear it again, as when a song like "Nowhere" talks about the places where one actually wants to be rather than where the title suggests -- thus, "There is nowhere I would rather be than in a bar." There's also something just wrong and right in equal measure with "Porno in My Sink" -- given that the full line starting the song is "I was disappointed, baby, when I saw you making porno in my sink." It would explain both the increasing volume in both the music and the singing, because who wouldn't be slightly irritated by that if one hadn't been asked first? Then there's the ad-libbed introduction of a nice little solo -- after part of a tale of woe on "I've Been Down," one hears "I've been feeling so bad...that Charlie (Horshack) must weep for me on the guitar." Which he then proceeds to do. But of course it would be nothing without great music to start with, so hearing not one but two great solos in the middle of the shaggy dog tale (or is it?) of "Concubine" is a treat. Meanwhile, the concluding ten-minute stop-start grind of a previously limited-release live rave-up "Hawg!," with its midsong break to talk about what "rock and roll is all about" (and concluding it's about "Marshall stacks and hearing it all" and more besides -- including canned peas) and a high-speed garble and crash toward the ending, is a perfect way to wrap up.

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