Eugene Chadbourne

Wombat on the Way

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Wombat on the Way is a sound collage work dating from 1985 and originally released on cassette. Eugene Chadbourne's own home label, House of Chadula, reissued it on CD-R. This album follows an aesthetic similar to The English Channel and Fuck the Audio Evolution Network, clashing country songs, primitive electronic experiments, TV and classical music quotes, and speeches all one against the other. The resulting multi-tracked soup assaults the listener with often different weapons in the left and right channels (particularly dizzying when listened to with headphones). The goal is obviously to confuse and surprise -- and it works! Chadbourne's social commentaries include takes on Spiro Agnew and Elvis, plus a very well-chosen lecture on the sexual life of teenagers (from a Republican perspective) paired with "Pornoguitar," a mad electric guitar solo backed by porno movie moans and a country & western medley. This track is followed by "Red Ball Liquor Bar," a delicate folk song polluted by surges of noise and further collages. "The Great Wall Around the Shopping Center," full of sudden surges, heavily treated vocals, and loud bass is as close the man ever got to sounding like Keiji Haino's Fushitsusha. One can spend hours moving back and forth, trying to make sense of all the voice inserts (and most of them are there for a reason, following Chadbourne's unique ironic logic). Yet, the whole thing remains a lo-fi experimental tape collage. If those last words don't fill you with confidence and anticipating excitement, you should probably leave Wombat on the Way alone. Otherwise, it stands as a good example of the man's mad art during the 1980s.

blue highlight denotes track pick