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Two Bands and a Legend Two Bands and a Legend Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Not for the faint hearted, 'Two Bands And A Legend' documents another violent...

Peggy Sutton 2007

Not for the faint hearted, Two Bands And A Legend documents another violent collision between Norwegian garage rockers Cato Salsa Experience, venerable American multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, heard here on tenor saxophone, pocket trumpet and vocals, and Scandinavia’s hippest free jazz/improv group The Thing, with bellowing saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and the brilliant powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilsson-Love.

Their first album, 2005’s live set Sounds Like A Sandwich, saw these eight musicians thrashing and contorting tunes by Led Zeppelin, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Albert Ayler. On this studio-recorded follow-up, PJ Harvey, ‘60s garage-rockers The Sonics, pop-rock standard “Louie Louie” and punk-funker James Blood Ulmer are put through their loud and noisy free-jazz-punk-rock mangle, alongside originals by Gustafsson and CSE drummer Magne Riise.

“The Witch” is a catchy riff-heavy blues with a double-bass intro that utilizes every screech and squall the instrument is capable of. An almost meditative version of South African trumpeter Mongezi Feza’s lilting “You Ain’t Gonna Know Me ‘Cos You Think You Know Me”, allows time to draw breath half way through. But the relief is brief; it’s followed by the rock-heavy assault of “The Nut”, written by Gustaffson’s daughter the Swedish teen punk idol Alva Melin, which soon becomes a high-intensity free-jazz thrash.

It’s no surprise this album has earned the ringing endorsement of positively ecstatic liner notes by the godfather of the garage jazz scene: Thurston Moore.

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