Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil

Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil

by Garage a TroisGarage a Trois


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This is the second Garage a Trois album, now with Marco Benevento in the seat once occupied by Charlie Hunter, so it's probably safe to assume that this is the official "new" lineup. You hardly miss guitar, though, with the wild assortment of sounds that both Benevento and Skerik have up their sleeves. In fact, there might be times where you need to tell yourself that there are no guitars! For about the first two-thirds of the album, Garage a Trois come on like a rock band. Whoever had the idea to credit Stanton Moore with "drum pummeling" was right on target. He pounds throughout, mostly staying clear of cymbals and working it out on the toms. He's just on fire on tracks like "Omar" and "The Drum Department" (natch). "Resentment Incubator" has a nasty solo from Benevento and nice, distorted sax grunting courtesy of Skerik. Mike Dillon switches from vibes to congas for "Shooting Breaks," where Skerik turns in a great twisted solo (that's actually tough to identify as sax, at first). They finally slow things down a bit with "Thumb," with Dillon on tabla and some circuit-bent speak-and-spell at the end. After that, things take a turn for the cinematic, sounding more like soundtrack music. "Baby Mama Drama" has a haunting, Rosemary's Baby vibe to it, and the set finishes with a cover of John Carpenter's "Assault on Precinct 13, "a proper soundtrack piece. This ain't no jam band: these are tight, well-written tunes that never overstay their welcome with aimless noodling. If the energy dips a bit at the end, that's OK, given the wild ride at the beginning. Good stuff.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/12/2011
Label: Royal Potato
UPC: 0020286155348
catalogNumber: 1104
Rank: 112763

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