The Wrong Cage

Jennifer Gentle

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The Wrong Cage Review

by Ned Raggett

Besides leading his main band, Acid Mothers Temple, and plenty of other side projects, Makoto Kawabata has carried out a number of collaborations over the years; this one, taken from a live show in Italy in May 2002, finds him with the young psych act Jennifer Gentle. In many ways it's very much Jennifer Gentle's show -- of the three songs on the short release, the two that take up the most time are extended versions of tracks from their first two albums. "Bring Them," originally from I Am You Are, makes for a full-on neo-stoner masterpiece. The Isacco/Alessio rhythm team, with the addition of Massimo on keyboards, creates a perfect zone-out vibe that Doors fans could appreciate, but it's the chaotic scream and swirl of Kawabata and Marco's guitars -- building, intertwining, and exploding as the arrangement intensifies -- that really sends things to the heights. Kawabata's sky-soaring solo ten minutes, in particular, are jaw-droppingly great. Meanwhile, "Couple in Bed by a Green Flashing Light" from Funky Creatures Lane becomes a wondrous thing indeed, an acid-tribal groove with strange, squealed vocals and some brilliant collective work from the band that Kawabata's contribution helps take to a higher level. It's loud, intense, and thrilling all at once. In the middle is a brief piece from Kawabata on his own, "Man From Mu," played on sarongi rather than guitar and demonstrative of his skill at using traditional instruments in modern settings. Though short at just over half an hour, The Wrong Cage is well worth the investigating and listening and does what most good albums should -- makes one want to hear more.

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