Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Master Cylinder's Elsewhere in the United States 1981, an old masterpiece

Who doesn't love a car crash cover?

This was reviewed long ago by Tom Hayes in 2010:

Not much is known about this Ft. Worth based jazz rock group (even though they're from my neck of the woods, their album wasn't exactly a staple of local jazz or rock radio). On the usually soulless Inner City label, Master Cylinder was anything but that. Their album has a strong melodic sense, and it seems the group must have been informed by the Canterbury groups like early Soft Machine or National Health, as well as the DC based Happy the Man. While ostensibly a jazz album, it's these rock elements that bring Master Cylinder to the next level. A very good album that time has forgot.

Priority: 3

To me it also recalls those masters of melodious RIO the Muffins, particularly in the highly creative last track called Hobb and Geeb which I've listened to all week trying to tease out all the ideas (or 'unpack' for the 'stakeholders' to use our favourite cliches du jour) they stuffed into one five-minute long composition.  At all times they are thinking outside the box and jumping around the bashed in box they broke out of like hyperactive kids on breakfast cheerios with an ecstatic surfeit of creativity, so much so that every 20-30 seconds the song changes directions, tempos, keys, etc.  Even when a passage is repeated something unusual like a polytonal accompaniment is tacked on.  It's as if they poured their whole lives' stories into one 40-minute long circle of carbon polymer plastic:

Sparse information here.

I would love to know who the composer was and how much time he spent on this work.  Another one-off piece of brilliance, for me, another of the true and unforgettable American masterpieces of the genre like the afore-reviewed Feigenbaum and Scott, or Tom's Genre - Commercial Success.