Wobbling like a drunk private eye in a thirties who dunnit, "And When the Situation Arises," the opening salutation of the unflinching Threadbare, rapidly transforms into a free jazz car chase where sodden hero and combatant bounce off light pole and guard rail, skidding towards cliffs with no regard for life, limb or the listener's expectations.
It's a brazen launch to an album bristling with an increasingly anxious assurance. Alloying heavy metal with Ornette Coleman's inspired predetermination to see how things fly when untethered from such minutiae as charts and harmonics, inquisitive Chicagoans Jason Stein on bass clarinet, Ben Cruzplaying guitar, and drummer Emerson Hunton pitch from one mind-bending highpoint to another with a barely controlled bash and frenzy. Yet given the unglued, apprehensive times in which we find ourselves listening, the three posit a restive challenge to again venture beyond our four walls. If not in body, then in mind and spirit.
It's sheer fun paying attention to Silver Dollar, (the attribute the trio has christened themselves) as they reach for the sky and pull down whatever we've thrown up there and re-purpose it with wild abandon. A generous cluster of noise and sure direction, Threadbare's eight careening tracks, either composed by Cruz, Hunton, or a combination of the two, pivot and punch, swagger, swell and propel ever forward. It might sound like Stein and Cruz are often at loggerheads (leaving Hunton as referee) and maybe they are and maybe they aren't. That's the undeniable thrill of Threadbare. That's why you're pulled into the trio's stirring, volatile vortex holding on to the riotous, righteous clamor.
And When Circumstances Arise; Threadbare; 70 Degrees and Counting Down; Mesh Veils; Funny Thing Is;
Threadbare; Silver Dollar; Untitled.