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The Flying Luttenbachers

Negative Infinity CD

Roaring out of the gates is the 15th full-length album by no wave/punk jazz/brutal prog iconoclasts The Flying Luttenbachers, led by founding member and main composer Weasel Walter. There’s a few special twists this time, friends. The last two albums, “Shattered Dimension” and “Imminent Death”, both epic double-length affairs released in 2019, focused on open ended, improvisational approaches more so than heavily structured ones. “Negative Infinity” is a sort of return-to-form in a regard, featuring 6 tightly scripted doses of what they call “Brutal Prog” – the tag Weasel coined in the early 2000s to describe an elite breed of intense, complex bands who emphasised harshness and intensity over the typical prog-rock flutes and fairies positivity. This is prog for THE APOCALYPSE, not your uncle. The merciless opening track sets the tone for the album – “Fury of the Delusion” is a through-composed, neck-snapping whirlwind of a number where an unrelenting, hair-raisingly harmonized line spat forth in unison by saxophone and duel guitars is investigated, turned upside down and transformed into a deadly musical cyborg. Oh yes – the other big surprise is that Weasel doesn’t provide his usual hyperactive drumming on this release. The chap has switched to guitar. He feels that it will be easier to drip sweat on the punters that way.That’s right. Close your eyes. That’s Sam Ospovat on the drums. Doesn’t he sound great? We bet you won’t even miss the Weez! Dark overlords Tim Dahl (bass) and Matt Nelson (saxophone) return once again and newest member Katie Battistoni plays the other guitar parts. The closing number, “On The Verge Of Destruction” is a monolithic side-long extrapolation off of Albert Ayler’s bizarre ’66/’67 “marching band on acid” musical suites. The group is shuttled through an exacting sequence of berserk rollercoaster melodies and the whole front line takes turns spewing outrageous solos. The structure coils up the band to release a climactic orgy of noise before the piece goes back to the beginning and winds down. The rest of the tunes may invoke fragant whiffs of old Mayhem sturm und drang, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks sonic terrorism, the jigsaw puzzle logic of the Rock In Opposition bands and, ahem, even ’90s Flying Luttenbachers style varsity team punk-jazz (“Demonic Velocities II” appears here as a meta-sequel to the old chestnut first performed by the group as early as 1993). The core tenets of The Flying Luttenbachers remain: Dissonance, Speed, Aggression, Weirdness, Singularity. This is perhaps the finest chapter of the three-decade saga so far…

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