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Electrocution 250: Electric Cartoon Music from Hell

I am apalled, so I'll straight get to the point. This is what it says in the two-page booklet of Electric Cartoon Music from Hell:

"I can already imagine it. Listeners scratching their heads, thinking, 'Surely it's not possible to play this stuff in real time. Right?' Wrong. You have the CD in your hands (or in your player). The evidence is before you. In E-250 you have a collection of some of the most O.T.T. electric instrumental music ever recorded."

Well, that's right. This is some of the sickest, most off the wall instrumental music you'll ever hear. Sure, the question of songwriting will pop up in many minds; and I'll definitely agree this is not for everyone. Of all people, fans of quirky instrumental music or guitar players should enjoy this album the most. Think the playfulness of Bumblefoot and the dazzling speed of Behold the Arctopus. Now give it a Spastic Ink spin, if you will. There you have it - Electrocution 250, a most impressive instrumental trio consisting of GIT-schooled Todd Duane on guitars and bass, Lale Larson on keyboards and piano, and last but not the least Peter Wildoer on drums, who previously played on Darkane and Time Requiem albums. Songs are generally faster than lightning and leave the human mind in knots. The sick sweeping that puts "Fletcher the Mouse" on fire is taken in a more playful (happy if you will) avenue thanks to sparkling keyboards, and crazy drum rolls. As its name itself suggests, this album is supposed to be cartoon-ish, and despite the ultra-technical musicianship this disc reveals, you can still feel the trio had immense fun while writing and recording these pieces. Duane's guitars begin playing fusiony leads that shred like never before and then meet an equally demanding keyboard intermezzo. Instruments fight and flirt with each other at the same time, leaving the listener baffled and awe-struck.

"Funky Lizard" has jumping bass notes in its intro and a fantastic groove. A jazz meets blues type of solo piano sets itself in during the middle before the band opts for heavy as steel rhythms and Duane starts playing the same lick in various keys. Thrashy bass and frenetic riffage on "Brainscraper" are eventually replaced by a slow fusion solo and exploding drum attacks. That's not all for the drums, however. There are also shorter cuts on this disc, clocking in at less than 2 minutes. One of these songs is "Exploding Head", which is an entirely drum piece where Wildoer lays down great fills, then stops for a moment, and continues hitting the skins, only more ferociously. There is a mosquito-like whining going on far in the back, which adds to the fun. It sort of feels like the heavier and groovier Wildoer plays, the more the insects wail. Lale Larson, too, gets his solo piece in "Looney Toon", an all piano instrumental. He also uses some great keyboard tones, besides going at it through most of the album. See "Nincompoop Scuttle" for raging 70's analog synths that contrast the preceding guitar passage with "how did he do that" type of string skipping and inhuman picking. Duane's accuracy and speed must be heard to be believed. He's like Zappa gone high with the tapping harmonics of Mattias Eklundh and the "music has to be fun" vibe of Ron Thal. He is the man.

Needless to say, this is not for everyone, but guitar players, musicians, and fans of ultra-complex instrumental music will dig this album big time. Visit the Liquid Note Records website for more artists in this vein.

Track Listing

  1. Fletcher the Mouse
  2. Funky Lizard
  3. G-Wiz
  4. Brainscraper
  5. Dr Fluffels
  6. Exploding Head
  7. Ridiculous
  8. Nincompoop Scuttle
  9. Looney Toon
  10. Mr Scruffen McFluff

Added: February 7th 2006
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Liquid Note Records website
Hits: 3182
Language: english

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