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Laramee, Pete: Childhood Memories

I love the concept behind this all-instrumental album by the guitarist of Baltimore-based prog-rock band Kurgan's Bane: songs inspired by people and events from Pete Laramee's colorful childhood. And even though there are no lyrics, the guitarist's self-deprecating liner notes are almost as entertaining as the music giving you one more reason to actually buy this thing rather than simply download it, kids!

The emotions conveyed in the music fit the images Laramee creates in the liners. The aggression of opening cut "Arm or the Leg?" is about the choice he was given by his older brothers about where he wanted to be punched, while "Brain Freeze" simultaneously oozes melody and chaos to represent the consequences of "getting that cold, creamy goodness inside you in a hurry." A brief acoustic interlude, "Pink Eye," leads to the angular "Running With Scissors" "Has any kid in the history of civilization actually run with scissors?" Laramee asks, and "Saturday Morning Cartoons" is as wacky as some of the shows Laramee and his three brothers used to watch. "Below the Belt," as you can imagine, sounds painfully disturbing, and "Snow Day" smacks of the fun and quirkiness that come with unexpectedly "losing a day of school due to snow." At the other end of a carefree child's emotional spectrum, "Suspended by Rain" conveys the sense of loss and disappointment that comes when a ballgame has to end early.

Laramee called on Kurgan's Bane bandmates Jeff Laramee (drums, as well as Pete's brother) and Luis Nasser (bass) to help make Childhood Memories, and he even convinced Derek Sherinian to play keys on "Red Rocks." Together, these guys conjure nostalgia while remaining firmly rooted in the present. They prove that, yes, you can go back even if only in your musical mind's eye.


Track Listing:
1) Arm or The Leg?
2) 13 Stitches
3) Flagpole
4) Brain Freeze
5) Pinkeye
6) Running With Scissors
7) Saturday Morning Cartoons
8) Below the Belt
9) Sow Day
10) Red Rocks
11) Suspended By Rain
12) Dodgeball

Added: March 18th 2009
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Pete Laramee on MySpace
Hits: 1975
Language: english

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