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Gutbucket: Sludge Test (2006)

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Gutbucket: Sludge Test How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Gutbucket might be the possessed grandchildren of bandleader Spike Jones, except that in the three CDs they have produced, I've yet to hear a gunshot. This modernized version of the blender band has been done before by groups such as Naked City, Blood Duster, and Mr. Bungle, but not nearly as well. Like Spike Jones, this quartet is dead set on entertainment. Maybe they are more a modern Raymond Scott or Carl Stalling soundtrack to Ozzy Osbourne's life.

Gutbucket's third disc follows Insomniacs Dream (Knitting Factory, 2001) and Dry Humping The American Dream (Cantaloupe Music, 2004). This outing favors a bit more rock than the previous jazz squawk, certainly a reaction to their audiences. The aforementioned Ozzy gets the full treatment on title track, with all the heaviness of a Sabbath guitar assault. The two-minute barrage morphs into a Green Day conclusion with saxophonist Ken Thompson walking the music through its paces.

Why do you care? Besides the big fun involved, Gutbucket adds musicianship to entertainment, a quality sorely lacking in today's rock shows. These guys speak the language, whether the driving pulse and thrash guitar of "Money Management For A Better Life" or the nod to Return to Forever on "Disciplining The Fugitive," with bits of Slavic music. They also walk the walk.

Although this disc draws less from Ornette Coleman than the group's last recording, the musicianship remains strong. The tight band and intricate arrangements thrill throughout. While the disc clocks in at a mere 45 minutes, you feel as if they have packed at least three times the music inside.

Track Listing: Money Management For A Better Life; Sludge Test; Punkass Rumbledink: Circadian Mindfuck; Throsp%; Disciplining The Fugitive; Underbidder; Where Have You Gone, Mr. Squeegeeman?; Plague Of The Legions; Danse de la Fureur, Pour les Sept Trompettes.

Personnel: Paul Chuffo: drums; Ty Citerman: guitar, prepared guitar, vocals; Eric: bass, Hammond B3 Organ, Moog; Ken Thompson: alto, baritone saxophone, Moroccan ghaytah, Wurlitzer Organ, Juno-66.

Record Label: Cantaloupe Music

Style: Modern Jazz


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