steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade

"Sexier Than Death" CD

Sort Of Records / The Paper Cities

Genre: experimental rock, free jazz

July 21 2008

Free jazz, meet rock music. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade is what Sweep the Leg Johnny would have been if they ditched their vocalist and took more risks. This quintet is composed of three saxophonists, a guitarist, and a drummer, and they certainly know how to make some noise. Beginning, strangely enough, with a cover of Deerhoof's "Hark the Umpire," TALB quickly kick off into high gear - Sexier than Death effortlessly surfs the line between dissonance and melody, bounding between improvised freak-outs and composed rock. The most accessible part of Sexier than Death is "It's a Slow Heartbreak," which slowly gathers itself into an organized, familiar rock instrumental layered with sax improvisation - the momentum and tension builds over the track to eventually burst open at the seams. Meanwhile, epic "Hear Me" sounds like a cross between Sweep the Leg Johnny and a Medeski, Martin & Wood concert. Clearly the folks behind TALB are a talented bunch, and what makes this record exciting is its constant line-stepping between rock accessibility and improvised chaos - in a manner most similar to math-rock, Gabriel Birnbaum and co. deliver moments of structure amid pure insanity. It is this tension between disorder and form - as well as some damn good playing - that makes Sexier Than Death a joy to experience.

TALB's myspace


youuuuuuuutube!: TALB live

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the label, released April 2008]