PAK's Motel, the rock trio's second CD, is an insane blend of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Butthole Surfers, Frank Zappa and King Crimson all blasted out at 78 RPM. Throw in enough meter changes to embarrass any progressive rock band as well as a rhythm section so quick and precise as to make Dream Theater look like wimps and you have one of the more original CDs of the year.
"You Like it Like That" opens the CD and pretty much sets the standard for the remainder of the relatively scant 42 minute duration: loud slaphappy bass courtesy of Jesse Krakow, razor sharp and formidable drums by Keith Abrams and the quirky guitar antics of Ron Anderson each threaten to combust all over the place. Guest artists such as violinist Carla Kihlstedt and trumpet player Tim Byrnes make vital contributions while miraculously keeping pace.
From the moment one innocently presses play on the CD player, Motel never lets up the jagged intensity. Ten minute pieces "Every Body Likes You" and "Bienvenue a L'Hotel Plastique" seem to take cues from the improvisations of King Crimson and even allow time for the steroids to wear off here and there.
PAK's music is certainly going to be a love it or hate it affair for many people. I reside somewhere in the middle. I admire the band for their energy and undeniable chops, but somehow come away feeling cheated by the lack of melodies. By turns exhilarating and exhausting, PAK is clearly a band to watch. I'm sure these guys would be a hoot in concert.
- You Like it Like That (5:10)
- Heatwave (3:21)
- 100% Human Hair (1:39)
- Jam Jel Treatment (3:36)
- The Higher The Elevation The Lesser The Vegetation (4:49)
- Every Body Likes You (9:52)
- Zugzwang (4:00)
- Bienvenue a L'Hotel Plastique (9:51)