5uu's - Crisis In Clay

Year of Release: 1997
Label: ReR
Catalog Number: ReR 5uu2
Format: CD
Total Time: 51:17:00

Combine equal parts of Yes, King Crimson, and Gentle Giant, and then stir together with a healthy dose of the near avant-garde, and you'll come up with the Rock-In-Opposition (RIO) wunderkinds 5UU's. This stuff is wonderfully insane, featuring arrangements so complex that lazy or closed minds will make no sense of the music at all. One minute, piles of creative dissonance thunder through dense, contrapuntal guitar, drum, and keyboard lines. The next minute you're lost in a sonic nightmare of growling guitar, confused voices, and screaming keyboards. Then the nightmare turns to a quiet, drifting dream.

At times, 5UU's settles down to a sound that's reminiscent of Yes at their most complex. For example, parts of "Bought The Farm" and especially "What Price Virtue?" sound like outtakes from "The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun" on the Tales of Topographic Oceans album. Then again, at other times, 5UU's sounds like King Crimson gone mad. Very mad.

If you can make it past "Comeuppance," the first track on this album, then you've got the guts it takes to make it through the entire album. At first listen, this track sounds like Yes -- if all the members were drunk and were putting together a new song for the first time. But with repeated listens (always a requirement for challenging music, anyway) things fall into place, with confusion metamorphosing into wonder. This is amazing stuff.

The tracks "Hunter-Gatherer" and "The Willful Suspension of Disbelief" have a definite Gentle Giant vibe. Imagine Jon Anderson as lead vocalist for a version of Gentle Giant that has brought it musical style right to the edge, and you'll have some idea of what these tracks sound like. On "The Encounter" (one of my favorite tracks), Steve Howe-like guitar licks start off a song that merges with chanted vocals, cruising prog guitar, tricky keyboard accents, and synthesizer mayhem. This 3 1/2 minute track has more music than you'll find in most other whole albums.

5UU's is not for everyone, but if you like Thinking Plague, Henry Cow, Univers Zero, and U Totem, or you are willing to wrap your mind around some challenging music, Crisis In Clay belongs in your collection. This is destined to be an RIO classic.

Comeuppance (3:48) / Broadside Hits And Near Misses (2:21) / The How-To's Of Self Taught (3:40) / Bought The Farm (4:19) / Simply Agree (1:38) / Goliath In The Sights (4:18) / December (2:56) / Hunter-Gatherer (3:30) / What Price Virtue? (3:19) / Darkened Doors (4:55) / The Encounter (3:26) / The Willful Suspension Of Disbelief (3:41) / Cirrus (3:38) / Weaponry (1:11) / Absolutely, Absolute (3:48) / Ringing In The New Ear (0:42)

Bob Drake - guitars, bass, vocals, violin
David Kerman - drums, guitars, keyboards
Sanjay Kumar - keyboards
Thomas DiMuzio - electronic and computer-generated sounds
Scott Brazieal - vibes

Bel Marduk & Tiamat (1986)
Elements (1988)
Hunger's Teeth (1994)
Crisis In Clay (1997)
Point Of Views (combined reissue 1 and 2 releases)
Regarding Purgatories (2000)
Abandonship (2002)

Genre: RIO

Origin US

Added: April 10th 2001
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website: www.5uus.com
Hits: 2091
Language: english


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