3

Equally Stupid: Escape from The Unhappy Society

Anthony Shaw By

Sign in to view read count
This second album by Equally Stupid sees the same transnational crew of three gents working in the same vein as their first Exploding Head, blending Rögnvaldsson's astringent guitar with saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen's this time more mellow tenor. David Meier is still holding things together with a strong physicality behind the drums, but from the cover onwards there's obviously a major change of style.

I wonder if they have been listening to John Cale or Arvo Pert as Escape from The Unhappy Society seems less cut-loose than the first album, with greater respect for the notes left unplayed, and maybe more melodic undertows, as well as a lot more reverb! 'Fools Paradise' starts with a lilting phrase on the sax, picked up and given a chunkier rhythm by the guitar before returning to again a mellow exploration of the same line, with swelling arpeggio accompaniment and some very gentle brushed percussion.

Where their first outing was brash, impatient and edgy within the domain of improvisational jazz-rock, this album is measured and slightly polished, as if 3 years of work has knocked some of the corners off their quest. There's still enough angular interaction between the two lead instruments, which to my ear works best when there's a hint of humour, as in 'Paranoia.' The sax and guitar chase each other around a geeky riff before the guitar takes off on a lyrical solo, before reverting to joint geekiness.

How reverently to take instrumental music is an issue at the heart of all 'serious music,' but it's so refreshing when professionals show their human side, and help us to laugh at the inscrutability of audio art. These three young Europeans certainly take their music seriously, but would probably subscribe to the late Daevid Allen's dictum that 'music is far too important to take seriously'

Track Listing: Politician’s Nightmare; Birdlife; Legacy to the Children of the 21st Century; Fool’s Paradise; Cruising Back to Mother Earth; The Garden of Edward James; Paranoia; Transpiration; Escape from the Unhappy Society.

Personnel: Sigurdur Rögnvaldsson: baritone guitar; Pauli Lyytinen: tenor, alto, bass saxophones, effects; David Meier: drums.

Title: Escape from The Unhappy Society | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Eclipse Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "In All My Holy Mountain" CD/LP/Track Review In All My Holy Mountain
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Soul Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Trio
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Danse" CD/LP/Track Review Danse
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Two Calls" CD/LP/Track Review Two Calls
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.