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Mass Culture Control Bureau: Things From The Past

Okay, so I feel like I should have some prior knowledge about Mass Culture Control Bureau, but the first I had heard of MCCB was when I received the 76 minute collection of recordings …Things From The Past containing the recordings of bands Black Sheep, Kontakt Mikrofoon Orkest, Geoff Leigh, and Red Balune. The connecting force behind all of this is Henry Cow sax/flute player Geoff Leigh.

…Things From The Past is best explained as sounds thrown together with rhythm to create an idea. This is avant-rock without much in the way of melody or theme. Under normal circumstances, listening to this gets tiring, but when we have over n hour the same chaos, it leans on the annoying side. An example is "Animal Sounds" which drones forward with a constant beat and has real and fake animal sounds scattered throughout the track. The first time you hear it, it peeks your interest, but with each additional spin, its lack of sophistication comes glaring through.

Red Baulune is the weakest of all the groups. There constant whine of Cathy Williams makes you want scratch your eyes out. The songs she backs on Geoff Leigh's solo numbers also are extremely weak. When this kind of experimental approach to music fails, it can be painfully rotten. Much of this CD reminds me of underground performance theater where the actor annoys on purpose and calls it art.

Of the 22 songs listed, there are a couple of songs that actually are worth repeated listens. "Non Stop Fun Pop", "Do The Residue", and "Sweet Cat" are songs where the mixture of styles and chaos works throughout and keeps the interest of the listener.

Because noise-rock, avant-garde are highly personal selections, many RIO lovers may want to give this a try. For me …Things From The Past contained too many tracks that were pretentious and annoying. Mass Culture Control Bureau lasted from 1978 through 1982. I am not sure anyone has missed them since.

Track Listing
Black Sheep
1) Buy MCCB
2) Slow Motion
3) Counting Sheep
4) Animal Sounds
5) Non Stop Fun Pop

Kontakt Mikrofoon Orkest
6) Living In Rotterdam
7) Do The Residue

Geoff Leigh
8) Black Metal Twist
9) Shah Of Iran
10) Chemical Bank
11) Psychotropic Ganglions
12) Starshooters

Red Balune
13) Maximum Penalty
14) Trees And Tanks
15) Animus
16) Rubber Raisin
17) Capitalist Kid
18) Spider In Love Unreleased
19) Sweet Cat (Black Sheep)
20) Strangelove (Black Sheep)
21) Power (Black Sheep)
22) Childhood Dreams (Geoff Leigh solo)

Added: July 1st 2005
Reviewer: Steve Ambrosius
Score:
Related Link: MCCB
Hits: 3073
Language: english

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