Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Bitters - Yes is IV

I doubt that you will see or hear another band quite like the Bitters in this day and age – they combine punk rock energy with free jazz, Frank Zappa-level musicianship, a bit of heavy metal and Rush-styled prog-rock. Not something that you stumble across every day at your local dive bar! And it is all instrumental! They are incredibly tight-knit, playing together and off of each other, working with dynamics, starts’n’stops and time changes to keep each tune varied and interesting.

"Led" (I don't know if there really is a "leader") by Jeff Murphy on guitar (who also plays bass in local swingin' surf/instrumental combo Thee Swank Bastards) along with Vinny Moncada's flying fingers on the bass, and Frank Klepacki's stompin'n'intricate drums, they flail through nine numbers on this disc. Definite Zappa influences in titles like "Waltz of the Bow-Legged Dwarfs" and "TV Dinner For the Dogs", along with Bastards-styled humor with "Aflatulent" and "Diarrific". 

Wild stuff and a bit challenging and jarring - and not always something you are looking to hear while having a drink at your local punk rock gig - but impressive and worth checking out.