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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Attention Deficit

The Idiot King

Review by Gary Hill

Attention Deficit's second album, this one continues their trend of fusion oriented instrumental music. The album should appeal to fans of bands like King Crimson, Djam Karet and Frank Zappa. The only real problem with the CD from this reviewer's point of view is that there is a bit of a sameness to it, and perhaps it could use some occasional vocals. Still, there are some definite moments of magic here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
American Jingo
Percussion and bass lines start this and it rapidly moves into a fusion oriented groove that gets a bit funky and Zappa-ish. It wanders in quite a few directions, becoming rather weird at times, especially during a backwards segment. The track can be a little hard to follow at points.
Any Unforseen Event
This starts more melodic in a triumphant sounding progish fusion intro, then turns more soothing in its tone for a time. In typical smooth jazz fashion the band wanders their way around the main theme without meandering far from it.
The Risk of Failure
This one has a weird tone - kind of Alice Cooper meets King Crimson - in the intro. It then shifts gear to more of a straightforward hard-edged fusion jam. The opening mode returns eventually, this time tempered by the more melodic later elements. Then the whole melody turns to a fresh jam for a time. Later it drops to a bass-dominated segment that eventually transforms to a fusion segment that feels a lot like Al Dimeola. This cut is very dynamic.
Low Voter Turnout
Percussion and an awesome funky bass line start this, but the track swiftly alters that texture to an off-kilter mode. Then it explodes into fusion fury before settling back down a bit. This one has a great prog/fusion texture that is a bit King Crimson and a bit sci-fi/horror soundtrack. This texture makes for a standout number.
Unclear, Inarticulate Things
Frantic bass jamming begins this one. The composition then develops into another fast paced fusion jam that again calls to mind both Al Dimeola and King Crimson. In fact it gets quite reminiscent of KC's Red era at times. It leaps forward into a very intriguing guitar dominated jam that carries it to its conclusion.
RSVP
A mellower segment reminiscent of Tony Levin's early solo albums starts this one. This style continues for a time, gradually developing and reworking a melody line before it shifts gear to a frantic fusion section. It drops back to the sedate from time to time, and the bass does some serious soloing here.
My Fellow Astronauts
The bass in on this one again feels quite Levinish. The guitar enters in a quirky, yet catchy riff. This jam is quite awesome, making this one of the strongest cuts on the CD.
Dubya
This is a slow groove with strong prog leanings. It is a fairly soothing yet evocative jam.
The Killers Are To Blame
Atmospheric tones start this, and the cut grows in dramatic fashion. It still remains more textural than substantive for quite some time, though. The track feels a bit like Djam Karet. The stellar percussion truly carries the piece since it is short on melody.
Nightmare on 48th Street
This one comes in super frantic like a hive of bees buzzing around and around. It becomes a bit Crimsonesque at times. After a time there is an abrupt false ending, then it explodes back in, feeling even more like King Crimson this time. There is not much change as far as melody on the piece, but it sure screams out. You definitely can use a rest after this one abruptly ends.
Public Speaking is Easy
A fun, playful little number, this is mostly percussive and gets a little funky.
 
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