Attention Deficit - Attention Deficit

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA-9022-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:04:00

So, the players in this little experiment in noise called Attention Deficit are Tim Alexander of Primus and Laundry [or should that be Landry and my info is faulty?], Alex Skolnik of Savatage and Testament, and Michael Manring.

My expectations for this album being what they were, something akin to Liquid Tension Experiment or Bozzio Levin Stevens, I was extremely disappointed. This is more ... experimental, more abstract than either of those two bands.

The fact of the matter is that I just can't get into this. Not really. There are moments here and there that are quite nice, quite melodic, but for this most part it is a discordant mishmash of sounds - keening and screeching guitars - like fingernails on a chalk board actually.

On "ATM," the opening track, Skolnik's guitars wail oddly, while Alexander's drums and Manring's bass percolate underneath ... and I find the keening a bit ... no, very, annoying.

"An Exchange Of Niceties" keeps this same feel, but is more dirge like as the bass takes the lead. A guitar chimes in like a bell, but not a happy bell - more like a dying one knowing it's ringing for the last time. But, underneath, another (the same?) guitar screeches ... this is like being out on the scorching desert, parched, dying, watching the buzzards fly overhead.

Track three gets better for me, where here the guitar bounces like many a Djam Karet bass line ... or maybe it's the bass and the guitar is playing the bass part. But again, the same idea is explored here as on the previous two ... if there weren't minute breaks, you'd think it was all one track.

I keep thinking that maybe I'm missing something. That maybe this is genius in disguise. Maybe I'm too focused on melody and tonal music that atonal and discordant just isn't pleasing. This isn't one to listen to in a good mood because it'll just bring you down.

As I said, there are moments - when Skolnik plays (versus plucking and noodling) and you can tell that he knows his stuff. This is, I hear, all improvised and frankly it sounds it.

I'm getting a headache, though ... I really don't like this. There is part of one track 7, "Fly Pelican, Fly," that would be perfect for X-Files' incidental music - more accurately it sounds exactly like music from the X-Files ... I wanna say the "Corophages" episode, but...

I like parts of Track #5, "It's Over, Johnny"...

Well, I shouldn't be surprised - there is a "warning" on the first page of the booklet that includes this phrase: "May cause headaches, nausea, nervousness, drowsiness and depression." Tongue in cheek, I'm sure, but not far off the mark here, folks. Except for the nausea ... that about sums it up.

Too metal for ambient fans, (maybe) too experimental for metal fans, too unexperimental for experimental fans - can't quite tell you where to put this ... well, I can but it wouldn't be very polite. I'm sure these are fairly pleasant blokes and that they had a great time making this, so I don't wanna diss this, but ... I can't, in all consciousness, make a recommendation.

Much better to pick up LTE, BLS, or even DK. Will probably appeal to King Crimson aficionados ... the less accessible KC, I suppose.

ATM (2:50) / An Exchange of Niceties (2:33) / Scapula (5:13) / Snip (0:22) / It's Over, Johnny (3:31) / TMA (2:02) / Fly Pelican, Fly (11:55) / Febrile (2:52) / MAT (3:18) / Wrong (0:47) / The Girl From Enchilada (2:35) / Merton Hanks (3:21) / Ill Fated Conspiracy (3:07) / The Blood Room (3:20) / Festivus (0:10) / Khamsin (1:39) / Lydia (3:43) / Say Hello To My Little Friend (3:01)

Alex Skolnik - electric and acoustic guitars
Tim Alexander - drums and percussion
Michael Manring - basses and loops

Attention Deficit (1998)
The Idiot King (2001)

Genre: Experimental

Origin US

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 1554
Language: english


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