Thursday, May 16, 2013

Massacre - Love Me Tender (Tzadik, 2013)

Massacre is an on-again, off-again trio featuring Fred Frith on guitar, Bill Laswell on bass and Charles Hayward on drums and occasional voice. These three musicians have crossed genres with impunity throughout their careers, and the music here is an amalgamation of sounds. There are aspects of jazz, progressive rock, dub and many more that combine for a wholly unique sound world. Then there are tracks like "The North Reaches to the Ankle" where it is a full band improvisation, creating soundscapes in real time. The music flows continuously without any breaks, as it was either partially or totally recorded live. Frith gets an excellent spotlight piece on the opener "Bright Blue" where he is allowed room for some blistering shards of electricity. "In Search of the Nervous System" takes on an ominous and more disturbing turn, with Laswell laying down great slabs of electric bass, while Hayward hammers aways on drums and interjects screams of fractured poetry into the maelstrom. This was a continuously interesting album. By defying any type of genre or classification the group is free to pursue whatever past it chooses, and they choose and challenging and compelling one. Love Me Tender -

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