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Gallery Of Mites | Bugs On The Bluefish | review | stoner | rock | Lollipop

Gallery Of Mites

Bugs On The Bluefish (MeteorCity)
by Brian Varney

...Wherein the same two miscreants that were behind last year's The Ribeye Brothers release - Monster Magnet drummer Jon Kleiman and original MM lead singer Tim Cronin - put together a loose collective dedicated to the crusty flipside and natural evolution of their collective garage-band obsession by attempting to make the Union Carbide Productions album that never was. If you're not familiar with that great late-'80s/early-'90s Swedish band, you're not alone. Though as The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, the phoenix that arose from the ashes of UCP, continue to gain popularity, I would imagine this group of people will grow smaller and smaller. In any case, for those unaware, UCP are one of the very finest bands of their era, storming out of Sweden with an oddly compelling mixture of berserk Stooges freakout energy and quirky, Beefheart-influenced time signatures and heavy downstrokes on their first two albums, In the Air Tonight (1987) and Financially Dissatisfied, Philosophically Trying (1989). By the time of 1991's From Influence to Ignorance, much of the bizarre psychosis had been ironed smooth in favor of a sleek classic rock sound that brought Beggar's Banquet-era Stones to mind. Bugs on the Bluefish sounds like the two UCP records, a bridging of the considerable gap between Financially... and From Influence... where you can detect both the berserk quirkiness and the classic Stones flavor.

The personnel listing for this here Gallery includes ten members, five of them credited with "lead guitar." Obviously there are not five people playing at the same time on each song, but there are no individual song credits, so it's hard to tell who, if anyone, is part of the "core" band and who just showed up and plugged in. However, considering that all of these guys are part of other bands (Lord Sterling, Monster Magnet, Solace, Halfway To Gone, and Black Nasa are represented), it sorta screams "side project." Where most side projects fail is in the lack of good songs, but there are plenty of good ones here, things you'll catch yourself humming an hour or a day later.

The production is a bit suspect, lo-fi and muffly, but considering the holy grail status that Cronin and Kleiman accord to Pebbles, Back from the Grave, and the like, I suppose it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that this is as shittily-recorded as The Ribeye Brothers' CD. I don't know if it's simply an aesthetic thing or some sort of mistrust of things that sound too "good" that's responsible for this band's embrace of bad production, but as it's not a fatal flaw, I suppose it's relatively trivial. A good song's the most important thing, and they've got 'em. Do the right thing and check this out, bub.
(PO Box 40322 Albuquerque, NM 87196)  

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