Space Needle

The Moray Eels Eat the Space Needle

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Space Needle has a couple of trademarks that it employs on this record, which include starting a variety of songs in a very quiet, almost inaudible way ("Where the Fuck's My Wallet?," "Hyapatia Lee") and using ray-gun-like feedback. If you close your eyes on a song like "Old Spice," you can envision yourself trapped in a blinding storm of sheet metal due to the cascading noise. Other numbers, such as the opening track, break into buzz-saw guitar and more streaming feedback that segues into a noise-jazz section where drummer Jud Ehrbar beats the life out of his kit without losing a beat. His drum skills are not utilized enough on the disc, which is a big problem. The group reverts to having him be a droll timekeeper on many songs ("Love Left Us Strangers," "One Kind of Lullaby") rather than showing off his octopus-limbed flailing. Most of the tracks that hold back Ehrbar's drum technique are also flawed due to the band's uneven approach to straight pop music. The man that saves the day is Max Buckholtz, who coaxes dolphin and horn sounds from his violin ("Hyapatia Lee") and runs lines that would make Mahavishnu Orchestra's Jerry Goodman blush ("Hot for Krishna"). Wherever Buckholtz appears on the record, those are the songs that are so overpowering that you almost feel forced to back away from your stereo. If Space Needle could take the length of its pop flops and apply that to their tedious, extended musical passages, they could create a record that has explosive dynamics across the board.

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