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Matching Mole: March

This recently released ducument of a 1972 European concert by Canterbury stalwarts Matching Mole is a good showcase of the bands talents. However, this might have been a monumental CD, had one glaring problem been omitted when the show was originally recorded.

Let's get the negative out of the way first. Drummer Robert Wyatt, who made a big name for himself during his days with the Soft Machine, for whatever reason decided to lend his incoherent warblings (or ramblings, or plain old "aaah's") over and over again during otherwise great fusion oriented tracks like "No "alf" Measures" and "March." His vocal bastardizations literally ruin these songs, and one is left to wonder what the rest of the band was thinking as he was incessantly chanting this nonsense behind the drum kit. Fortunately there are smoking progressive fusion classics like "Instant Pussy", "Smoke Signals", and "Part of the Dance", which feature the searing guitar work of Phil Miller (later to join National Health), the Chick Corea inspired electric piano of Dave MacRae, and the frenetic rhythm section of Wyatt and bassist Bill MacCormick. These guys could really burn with extended, complex fusion workouts, like on "Lything and Gracing", a song that lets Miller show his aggressive rock side as well as a more tender, almost Carlos Santana emotional side. Bassist MacCormick unleashes a monstrous solo from hell here, that sounds like the second coming of Godzilla, full of feedback and sustain, while MacRae and Miller vamp jazzy chords behind him, and Wyatt flails away. Very impressive indeed.

The horrible vocal sections aside, there is some awesome music to be heard here. The songs included all rival or improve upon the studio versions as far as the intensity level goes. If only Wyatt's nonsense could be lifted and this CD re-released...

Added: September 23rd 2002
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Cuneiform Records
Hits: 2259
Language: english

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