Monday, July 18, 2011

Gutbucket - Flock (Cuneiform, 2011)

Another band that skirts the divide between jazz and rock ‘n’ roll is the Brooklyn based outfit Gutbucket, whose intricate jazz based arrangements are infused with punk rock energy. Gutbucket consists of Ty Citerman on guitar, Eric Rockwin on bass, Ken Thomson on saxophones and Adam Gold on drums. Gutbucket’s music isn’t as much based around the traditional improvisational nature of jazz as tightly wound arrangements and strong powerful music that hits with a visceral wallop. In a sense this makes them the kin or antecedents of genre-bending bands like The Lounge Lizards or the Microscopic Septet, and they would have fit very well into the heady “no-wave” scene that flourished in New York City in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The start off strong from the first track, and perhaps my new favorite song title, “F*** You and Your Hipster Tie,” which mixes the band’s irreverent humor with serious instrumental mastery and turn on a dime musical empathy. “Set the Trapeze to Gravity” also catches the band amidst their high wire act (as the title would lead you to believe) the rhythm team is locked in very well together and provides a tight foundation for Citerman and Thompson to draw on anything from free-jazz to punk and soul in building their performances. “Sacrificial Vegan” and “Zero Is Short For Idiot" show off the bands dynamic side, allowing the music to go from slow and atmospheric to loud and raucous within the same performance. Gutbuck is a very hard band to classify and that is a good thing. Developing their unique sensibility from progressive rock, jazz, fusion and a myriad of other sources they have an identifiable sound that stands out from the crowded music scene. Flock -

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