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Quaker: Autocritica

Some expert guitar work informs Autocritica. From the unimaginable scales of Holdsworth to the phase music precision of late period Fripp + Belew, the music traces some of the better moments of late 20th Century metal instrumental musics -- from Holdsworth pre- and post- UK through to the clockworks of King Crimson's Power to Believe hours. The techniques are immediately on display with the first track -- "Frühstück", or "breakfast" -- which nods to Holdsworth and the generously paced, patiently developed "Memorias de un pato de hule", with its concentric and dangerous curves. There's -- generally -- a great balance between frontman showiness and tight ensemble work which makes the work feel mature, even though one suspects we're early in the Quaker career.

This harder-edged empathy is articulated with a generally rounder sound than the precursors mentioned earlier and despite a sometimes sentimental flourish there are a few excursions into counts of five and seven that are especially refreshing after the countless and well-documented hours of 120bps 4/4 machinations that surround us.

Yet as nice as all this sounds there are a few stretches into too-smooth, too-polite clubbing. This may be the result of the mistaken effort to demonstrate stylistic range and flexibility, but one can't help but feel saddened as some beautifully arpeggiated and delicate structures yield suddenly and strangely to vulgar and Paul Shafer-style keyboardish melodies, cracking the carefully constructed thematic progressions with suddenly and frankly pointless retro tuni-ness. For what it's worth, these exceptions to the rule of a more modern sensibility have a tendency to undercut the stronger, more complex glimpses that comprise the most interesting and promising parts of Autocritica. Once Quaker sets aside the stylistic dilettantism, expect a complete album instead of this collection of pieces.

Track Listing
1. frühstück
2. autocritica?
3. memorias de un pato de hule
4. russian mountain
5. hanoio
6. melos per manencia
7. arsis
8. a zurda y siniestra

Added: June 18th 2007
Reviewer: Kerry Leimer
Related Link: Viajero Inmovil Records
Hits: 3131
Language: english

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