To Higher Time -- not to be confused with the 1993 studio album Close to Higher Time -- is an 11-minute improvisation recorded on stage at CBGB's on October 12, 1990 by guitarist Rudolph Grey and the most common early '90s lineup of his ever-revolving sidemen the Blue Humans: second guitarist Alan Licht and drummer Tom Surgal. The twin guitar attack, superficially similar to that of Sonic Youth, with whom this lineup of the Blue Humans is most often compared, is quite a change from the guitar-reeds-drums lineups Grey had favored in the '80s. Licht's more rock-influenced guitar style (the CD helpfully puts Gray's guitar in the left channel and Licht's in the right) brings the Blue Humans closer to recognizably art rock structures instead of the heavy free jazz influence of their earlier performances; as a result, To Higher Time, fine though it is, pales in comparison to improvisational classics like Live NY 1980 or Incandescence. However, listeners who want to move from Sonic Youth or the Swans into more challenging experimental realms might find To Higher Time a good stepping stone.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason