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Ahleuchatistas: What You Will

If ever an instrumental album were laced with political commentary, What You Will would be it. These three Asheville, N.C.-based musicians who play likeable, stripped-down, pretentious-free, compressed and complex polyrhythmic music that has been defined as math-rock, avant-punk and avant-progressive aligned themselves with the fight against imposed artistic and political forms by taking their unusual band name from a Charles Mingus song called "Ah-Leu-Cha" and the "istas" part of "Zapatistas" (an indigenous revolutionary movement in Chiapas, Mexico).

What You Will, the band's third disc, is loaded with songs like "Remember Rumsfeld at Abu Ghraib" (an explicit political title that also pays tribute to the Mingus piece "Remember Rockefeller at Attica"), "Shell In Ogoniland" (a wordless diatribe against Shell Oil Co.'s operations in the Niger Delta) and "Ho Chi Minh Is Gonna Win!" (a reflection on the insurgency in Iraq via a comparison to Vietnam). Despite the implied politics, there is also a playfulness to the music of Ahleuchatistas. One of the longest tracks on the 14-song, 41-minute album is "Sometimes There's a Buggy," a technical King Crimson-ish piece inspired by the David Lynch film "Mulholland Drive." Another song, "I Used To Be Just Like You, But Now I Am Just Like Me," lasts less than two minutes, features a groovy drone and seems to exist for no other reason than to give band members a fun title to use.

Ahleuchatistas leaves aural evidence of Crimson, Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart, Hawkwind, Gong, Frank Zappa and even Mingus and Coltrane (at least spiritually, if not so much musically) all over What You Will. Yet the record also retains its own distinct originality and intense listenability, making a compelling argument for the effectiveness and honesty of the avant-anything genre.


Track Listing:
1) Remember Rumsfeld at Abu Ghraib
2) Shell in Ogoniland
3) Maybe Orange
4) Unfolding
5) Sherman's March
6) Sometimes There's a Buggy
7) If, Whenever
8) Ho Chi Minh Is Gonna Win!
9) Before the Law
10) I Used To Be Just Like You, But Now I Am Just Like Me
11) Now, Now Is Then
12) Last Spark From God
13) What Are You Gonna Do?
14) You Know My Family

Added: March 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Cuneiform Records
Hits: 2203
Language: english

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