Socrates That Practiçes Music Further Conclusions Against An Italian Version (BAT)

[Junior Aspirin; 2011]

Styles: very English, very British, very… Anglophile
Others: Gong, Legendary Pink Dots, Devo, The Residents

My arm measures 39 centimeters
From any angle you could see that he was chewing
Defcon Defcon Defcon Defcon Defcon Defcon Defcon Defcon…
Do you remember Tommy Dorsey? … The universe is hissing

I could just end the review right here, now, couldn’t I? It goes without saying there’s a lot of Gong-esque whimsy afoot on Further Conclusions Against an Italian Version, and that’s just a small peephole into Socrates That Practiçes Music’s world — to get the full-blush rush, you’ll have to take a few swigs. Hmmmm, I’m getting Legendary Pink Dots/Edward Ka-Spel, some fruity Eyes Like Saucers action, a hint of tangy “Enjoy the Silence” clean guitar, a blast of Art Bears, some Floyd, Pink, and just a flutter of a distant, salty shade I like to call Eric Alexandrakis.

It all sounds like too much — I know — but Andy Cooke and Alex Ellerington always take the time to flesh out their ideas, rendering aspects of the recording that might otherwise be annoying — such as a grown man repeating “From any angle you could see that he was chewing” 30-40 times — favorable after the groove has set in and the little accents (a string section that creeps up like sand people, urgent piano, omnipresent clean riffs) take hold. The drumming is especially urgent and insistent, plink-plunking on as Cooke goes from spoken-word rants to feverish query in two moves. He never screams, however, an important distinction to make for those who, for lack of a proper term, hate that shit.

As much as the term “art rock” makes me shudder (isn’t all music “art”?), Further Conclusions is, in a post-Devo age, as artsy as it gets outside of possibly the work of the folks who started out as artists and moved into audio (Stephen Spera, Hoor-Paar-Kraat) and as frustrating — and occasionally gratifying — as any record I’ve heard since the reemergence of prog delivered bands like The Rhythm Of Black Lines. Not bad company.

Links: Socrates That Practiçes Music - Junior Aspirin

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