Monday, August 23, 2010

King Crimson - Thrak

8/10

Another decade, another Crimson. This is the "double trio" incarnation of the band, where the rhythm section of Pat Mastellotto and Trey Gunn joined the previous lineup (although to tell the truth, there weren't too many points on Thrak where I could make out more than one bass or drum kit playing at the same time).
Thrak is a pretty diverse album. There are a whole lot of instrumentals, and while some of them are quite short and underdeveloped, others are considerably better (the drum solo in "B'Boom" is great, with an awesome bass drum sound awesomely contrasting the other drums). "People" and "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" seem to be concessions to funk metal bands such as Primus and Red Hot Chili Peppers that were popular during the mid-90's, but there's still quite a bit of 80's style Crimson in the guitars, especially the interplay between the guitar synths and more traditional tones. (At least they didn't try to follow this up with a nu-metal album- although that would have been the most hilarious trainwreck.) "Walking on Air" and "One Time" are some more laid back songs that work pretty well; I especially enjoy Belew's vocal on the former, where it almost sounds like he's channeling George Harrison or John Lennon. "Dinosaur" is also awesome, with its throwback Mellotron intro and awesome plodding rhythm.
Still, there's a bit of filler here; both of the short "Radio" and "Inner Garden" tracks could easily have been left off without losing much, and the second part of VROOOM VROOM wasn't really necessary, but Thrak is quite a fine entry to the Crimson canon nonetheless.

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