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No-Neck Blues Band and Embryo Embryonnck Review

Album. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

Primitivist cult improvisers hook up with legendary ethno Krautrockers...

Peter Marsh 2006

According to Sonic Youth, the No-Neck Blues Band are 'the greatest band ever in the history of the universe'. They're a New York based improv collective with a taste for anonymity and deluxe CD packaging, and they have a lot of admirers (John Fahey was amongst them).

Here they combine their trademark neo-primitivist avant noodling with input from German ethno-fusion outfit Embryo. Simplistic, vaguely ritualistic rhythms from marimba, kit and all manner of bashed objects underpin wandering guitars, saxes, flutes, voices, electronics and sundry ethnic (and possibly homemade)instruments.

While there are faint echoes of everyone from Don Cherry to Moondog, the overall impression is of a bunch of hippies let loose in a music shop on their way back from a free festival. But Amon Düül they ain't. There are some lovely moments, but they're fleeting. Most of Embryonnck is just aimless, boring and eventually, bloody irritating. Emperor's New Clothes, anyone?

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