There's a reason why, now 17 years after its original release, that Sluggo! is cherished as fondly as it is. Mike Keneally & Beer For Dolphins created a perfect mix of intense progressive rock, pop, avant-garde, and zany jazz here, combining influences such as Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, Yes, and The Beatles into a sound that is instantly accessible yet impossibly adventurous & complex. The line-up for Sluggo! was Keneally (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, other assorted instruments), Bryan Beller (bass), Mike Mangini (drums), Toss Panos (drums), and Joe Travers (drums), all well known players from established acts such as Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Dethklok, Extreme, Zappa Plays Zappa, Duran Duran, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Joe Satriani, and others. This Special Edition features a new stereo mix of the album, as well as a DVD-Audio disc with a 5.1 Surround mix of the album, and a separate DVD packed with live footage and lots of other goodies.
If you've never heard Sluggo! before, you are in for a treat, now more than ever with this new stereo mix presentation. As I mentioned above, it's a highly complex album, yet at the same time instantly memorable and accessible. Wacky pop tunes like "Potato" and "TRANQUILLADO" surround intricate prog/jazz/avant-garde gems like " I, Drum-Running, Am Clapboard Bound", "Why Am I Your Guy?" and "Frozen Beef". There's the gorgeous, jazzy "Chatfield Manor", complete with a stunning Keneally guitar solo, the intricate pop/prog ditty "Beautiful", funky metallic prog on the raucous "Voyage To Manhood", and the unbelievable Zappa inspired madness that is "Egg Zooming". But no, it doesn't end there, as you also have the hard rocking, almost heavy metal tune "Own", majestic prog gem "Cardboard Dog", and the quirky piano led jazzy title track. Love the bonus track "Bob Dylan's Nose " too, a metallic romp with plenty of deep grooves and Keneally's thunderous guitar work.
If you have a decent home theater system, be prepared to be blown away by the 5.1 Surround mix on the DVD-Audio disc. Sluggo! is stunning enough on its own, but in this presentation it's just unreal. Crank it up and enjoy! The third disc is another DVD, with a plethora of great bonus features, the highlight being the live footage from 1998, which shows just what a killer band this was, as they tear through tracks from this album and earlier pieces. All of this is housed in a gorgeous digipack, and complete with a booklet containing full lyrics and album info. An amazing album just got even better folks. Highest recommendation!
Disc one is a CD containing the new stereo mix of Sluggo! (done in 2012 and 2013 by Mike Harris and myself), plus two bonus tracks.
2. I, Drum-Running, Am Clapboard Bound
3. Why Am I Your Guy?
4. Looking For Nina
5. Frozen Beef
7. What Happened Next
8. Chatfield Manor
10."I Guess I'll Peanut"
11. Voyage To Manhood
12. Egg Zooming
14. I'm Afraid
15. Cardboard Dog
18. Bob Dylan's Nose (studio version)
Disc two is a DVD-Audio disc with the complete album in:
PCM 16/48 Stereo
DTS 24/48 5.1 Digital Surround
MLP 24/96 Lossless Stereo
MLP 24/96 Lossless 5.1 Surround
Disc Three is a standard DVD containing a plethora of material, including over two hours of live and studio video footage, the original 1997 Sluggo! CD mix, more bonus tracks, and additional ephemera.