Sludge Test – Gutbucket
Cantaloupe Music 21033
And now for something completely disturbing.
Gutbuckets Sludge Test, the jazz punk quartets follow-up to 2002s Dry Humping the American Dream (yep, best album title ever), is a schizophrenic goulash of heavy metal and jazz music brought to a boil by the bands pure punk bravado.
Money Management For A Better Life opens like a high-hat-heavy Metallica rocker before slamming into a soaring sax line supplied by Ken Thomson that sounds eerily like Late for the Future-era Galactic. But this is no funky swamp music. When the driving rhythm and tight horn blasts melt down into a clinically insane, James Blood Ulmer-esque guitar solo played by Ty Citerman to close the tune, we know Gutbuckets spent some time rockin art galleries and free spaces around The City So Nice They Named It Twice.
The thing is, this isnt just the free jazz of the downtown scene. Its not that simple. The blaring horn lines at the beginning of Sludge Test come off like a cackling Klezmer polka on steroids aided by some Sabbath-like power rock progressions. The song that follows, Punkass Rumbledink, continues the violent nightmare of the previous tune, then drops into a bouncy little groove at precisely the one-minute mark before dissolving into syncopated guitar-and-drum-ageddon. The Battle Hymn of the Republic and a Nazi march anthem clash somewhere in the midst of Where Have You Gone, Mr. Squeegeeman? Listening to Gutbucket is like being pummeled by a gang of chain-toting miscreants hopped up on amphetamines at a Morphine/Megadeth double-bill with Ornette Coleman sittin in.
Gutbucket are essentially musical nihilists — they believe in nothing, Donnie. They bust down the flimsy walls between jazz, rock, punk and metal like a sonic tornado in a fucking Virgin Megastore. No rules. No regard for tradition or conventional wisdom. Its dark, at times downright scary music, but its music for the slightly demented side of all of us.