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Eddie The Rat: Out Behind The 8-Ball

Strange is this Eddie The Rat. Their seventh release, Out Behind The 8-Ball, is one bizarre album, as the song titles would suggest. Before I get to the music a little history of the band is in order. Eddie The Rat began in the year 2000 as a one man band A.K.A. Peter Martin. It eventually grew to an ensemble of up to 15 musicians with the current quartet playing together for about one and a half years. The artists performing include Peter Martin (vocals, piano, cajon, bass drum, gangsa, tingklik), Molly Tascone (vocals, woodwinds, xylophone, steel drum, percussion), Ronnie Camaro (bass) and Dan Ake (percussion). Martin describes it as "head music for your feet" and that might paint an accurate picture. This is very avant-garde stuff, perhaps with some ethnic American influences, and it is not like anything I have heard before. The music has a myriad of percussive sounds as you can probably tell from the listed instruments. It is very minimalist and filled with discordant and jagged edged melodies provided mostly by piano, flute and xylophone, at least that is what I am hearing. There is a lot of space between the sounds, a bit too much space for my tastes. To my ears there is not enough substance, and at times, the music seems to drift without a purpose. Of course, I might be missing the point, but music, after all, is a subjective phenomena. Another drawback, for me, is the lack of melody. To be fair, there is some to be found, but not enough to satisfy my tastes. The vocals are adequate but nothing exceptional and some songs have long instrumental parts. I should also note there is really no soloing here at all, but rather the instruments work together to create the album's sound.

I know this sounds like a critical review but I need to be honest. I have listened to this album quite a few times and it still has not come to me. If, on the other hand, you are into avant-garde percussion based music perhaps you should listen to some samples to get a taste for yourself. I should also point out this album has received some good reviews, but for myself, this one only warrants 1.5 stars.

Track Listing:
1) My Little Red Stungun (4:31)
2) Lela, My Familiar (9:57)
3) The Closet People (3:38)
4) Out Behind the 8-Ball
5) Pete Townshend is My Dad (2:41)
6) (Once Again, This Time Around the) Anhedonia Blooze (11:19)
7) Place Your Head Upon the Brick (6:31)
8) Don't Kill the Black Chicken (4:25)
9) March of the Haydevil (Don't Apologize for Universal Law pt. 2) (8:16)
10) Slither at the Stem (3:18)
11) Dance of the Puzzle Pieces (2:32)
12) Farewell to Edgar (2:34)

Added: December 10th 2008
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1853
Language: english

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