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French TV: The Case Against Art

If you are in the mood for a hairy, insane musical ride, then French TV's seventh release is just the way to go. Bassist and composer Mike Sary has once again put together a stunning group of musicians to record what could be one of the more complex and adventurous CD's that you will hear all year.

The best way to descibe the music of French TV is to give a comparison to the great Canterbury bands of the 70's, such as National Health, Hatfield and the North, Matching Mole, Soft Machine, and Gilgamesh, plus throw in a bit of Gentle Giant, Camel, and Caravan. The opening track is a blistering hodge-podge of unrelenting guitars, squonking sax, nimble keyboards, and gymnastic percussion. Sary manages to keep everything under wraps with his fluid bass playing, but there is a definite feeling of chaos lurking at all times, much like what Henry Cow were able to accomplish back in their heyday. French TV however, always manage to come across a bit more melodic and less dissonant that that band. While there are some vocals, the majority of this CD is instrumental, and loaded with as many time and meter changes as there are guest band members. Another good point of reference is the work of Frank Zappa back in the early 70's, where he created a sort of mini-orchestra with guitars, horns, violins, keyboards, and much more. The quirky nature of Sary's compositions also leave you feeling upbeat, even though this is not easy listening music for most people.

French TV's music is really what progressive rock is all about. Not one trace of commerciality, lots of complex playing, abundant time changes, and long songs-what more can you ask for!

Added: May 30th 2002
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: French TV Website
Hits: 3855
Language: english

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