This unusual quartet (saxophone-guitar-bass-drums) produces a sound that falls somewhere between the dry, academic precision of 1980s King Crimson and the sprawling art-punk clamor of Mission of Burma. Combine those influences with a decidedly elliptical lyrical bent, and you end up with a pretty cool result. It's never encouraging to see a 40-minute program consisting of only five tracks, but the episodic nature of these songs keeps them interesting even when they get long-winded. Here's a typical example: "Las Cruces" begins slowly, but then revs up as the saxophone begins playing a mesmeric two-note line against which the guitar and bass click metronomically; the line eventually starts to vary a little bit, and then, three-and-a-half minutes into the song, the guitar starts shredding. Everything stops, then the guitar and sax start in again playing minimalist counterpoint. At five minutes in, everything breaks down again and the lyrics start. Lyrics and instrumental counterpoint alternate until the song culminates in shouting, crunchy guitars and a sense of weird catharsis. Whew. Complaints? The lyrics are a bit much sometimes -- lines like "My hand is tangential to your riled hip" betray a writer who's confused vocabulary with poetry. Highly recommended anyway, because the music is such a blast.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson