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Neslort: Mystical Scam

Neslort are a new Orleans band that are difficult to categorize considering they play a gamut of styles including funk, jazz, fusion, psyche and rock. The leader of the band is Rick Trolsen on trombone and vocals – you may have noticed Neslort is his last name spelled backwards. Other members of the band are Kyle Cripps (tenor, soprano saxophones), Tim Robertson (electric guitar), Larry Sieberth (keyboards), Matt Perrine (electric bass, tuba) and Boyanna Trayanova (drums).

The band formed in 1991 only to break up in 1998. Their new comeback album Mystical Scam is an excellent listen. Their website proclaims "Primordial Fusion since 1991" and who am I to argue with that. Although the music is melodic, this is not an easy listen as there is a depth and complexity here that may take a few listens to fully appreciate.

Trolsen's trombone is all over this album which makes for an interesting sound as this is not something you hear very much in rock music. Three of the tracks contain vocals and I quite like Trolsen's deep, soulful voice. The rest of the musicians are no slouches either and all do a fine job whether playing as a tight unit or adding snippets of improvisational jamming.

The band's jazz rock side is showcased in the album's first song "A Tyrant's Invitation" featuring an abundance of soloing and all around tight musicianship. The band opts for a funkier approach with the grooving "March of the Native Alien" followed immediately by the psychedelic infused title track. It's a sound deeply rooted in the '70s and Trolsen's vocals remind me of Jack Bruce (ex-Cream). As soon as you read the title of the quirky "Blues For Man's Extinction" you can probably guess what this one is about and with lyrics like "Oil in the Gulf/Wetlands are sinking/Beaches are covered with tar/Mama Nature's wrath's/Gonna cost us some cash/The price of the almighty car" there can leave little doubt. In direct contrast is the hopeful "Picture" starting with bluesy lead guitar leading to melodic saxophone. Optimism is the theme as Trolsen sings "Picture White Flags flying high above/Picture the world living in love/Picture the day when the arms are laid to rest/Picture a bridge that spans from east to west." On the jazzy "Bedwetting for Example" Trayanova's drum skills really shine but the strangest song as to be "After the Extinction; A group improvisation" with its eerie ambient-like beginning and discordant brass sounds continuing throughout.

Neslort has delivered a unique album that does not really sound like anything else I have heard recently and that is precisely what makes Mystical Scam such a satisfying listen.

Track listing:
1. A Tyrant's Invitation (5:32)
2. March of the Native Alien (6:12)
3. Mystical Scam (6:29)
4. I Found You (5:27)
5. Blues for Man's Extinction (5:07)
6. Bedwetting for Example (4:57)
7. Picture (5:57)
8. The Noise (6:53)
9. The Yoga Rope Rag (5:30)
10. After the Extinction; A group improvisation (4:36)
11. And for a little Lagniappe…Live video from The Blue Nile Nightclub in New Orleans!

Added: March 6th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2238
Language: english

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