Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
- Captain Beefheart and the Mag ic Band (Warner Brothers)
This is one of the rare times that all of Beefheart's many organically oddball talents have been captured successfully on record, easily the first time since 1968's Trout mask Replica. The music is as cranky and idiosyncratic as it's ever been (jump-cut time signatures, a free mixing of "free-jazz" randomness and pop song structures,Delta blues and neoclassical shades blending into thick swaths of atonal grind and percolatingly askew tempos) and Beefheart's vocals, one of the raspiest voices anywhere, deliver his Dada inclined free associative lyrics with the same kind of off-balance verve , the music accompanying a man recovering from a stumble. The effect sounds like an unlikely super session between Howlin ' Wolf and Alfred Jarry (catering by designed by Max Ernst) . His new Magic Band, featuring ex-Zappa sidemen as Bruce Fowler (trombone) and Art Tripp (drums) , handle the demands of the music with disciplined ease, executing Beefheart ' s non –sequitur arrangements with a professionalism that tending toward perfection and liveliness, usually an unlikely symbiosis in art-rock groups.Sterility, the cardinal sin of most “art rock” and so called progressive rock bands, is nowhere apparent here. However cerebral Beefheart's music sounds, though, it should be pointed out that Shiny Beast is a fun album, full of good humor and strong ongs. This time out, The Captain is out to entertains and beguiles.