After listening to the blistering opener "Tunguska", it becomes readily apparent that Stinkhorn has created a "free form" monster with this new CD. Combining equal parts free-jazz, fusion, and swinging prog rock, this exciting four-piece ensemble gets down to business with fifteen dark instrumental tunes that show chops, finesse, and deep groove.
If you like long jazzy solos, there are plenty here, especially from guitarist Brian Heaney and sax player Michael Monhart. Heaney easily slips from Robert Fripp intensity to Mike Stern melodicism, while Monhart lays down some shrieking squonks on "Sonny's Delight" and gentle melodic passages on "Psalm X", which is a beautiful, tender piece for the band. Drummer Howard Ouchi gets about a minute to shake a few nimble fills on "Howard Sez", which gives way to the smoky and romantic "Awa Nights, which features Monhart once again. Other highlights include the rampaging "Summer Salt" (which has a gymnastic bass line from John Morris), the metallic fury of "Mongolian Pig Driver", and the ten-minute jazz of "Gina." King Crimson fans also might dig the insane improv of "Road Rage", which is a cacaphony of guitar and sax blasts accompanied by violent bass and drums, which then leads into the heavy "Ancient Baby", an insistant rocker with some neat distorted guitar leads.
Tunguska is one of the better improvisational based recordings I have heard in a while, and is highly recommended.