JOHN ZORN — Naked City (review)

JOHN ZORN — Naked City album cover Album · 1990 · Avant-garde Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Warthur
This is essentially what happens when a jazz band decides to play avant-garde rock and roll, with basically straight-ahead rockabilly numbers made weird with odd little solos and outbursts here and there. The overall sonic effect isn't too dissimilar from the wilder moments of Mr. Bungle - indeed, John Zorn and Trey Spruance would end up working together from time to time in future - though with a slightly more consistent "anchor" in early garage rock.

It's all very impressive, but I'd add a couple of caveats. The first is that if you are interested in this album because of thw participants' jazz work, you should keep in mind that this doesn't sound even slightly like jazz. The second is that I sneakily kind of think the garage rock side of the band is just fine and all that weird soloing just makes the album odd for odd's sake. This is a sentiment which, if course, is entirely antithetical to the experiment here, but I just feel like the experiment just isn't quite my cup of tea.
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