Attention Deficit - The Idiot King

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MAX-9054-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:12:00

The kind of projects that crop up in our style of music mainly is built around the nucleus of some famous prog icons. Not this time though. When Michael Manring recorded his solo album Thonk in 1994 he asked Alex Skolnick and Tim Alexander to help him out. That collaboration was such a treat that Manring approached the Magna Carta stable and asked whether at all he could team up with Alex and Tim once again in order to create some new groundbreaking instrumentals [as Attention Deficit]. The result was the album of the same name followed here with their second, The Idiot King.

With Tim and Alex having been part of Primus and Testament, respectively, the approach towards the music is less "prog" than one might expect, as, of course, it features heavy guitars throughout. The threesome has succeeded into delivering the right follow-up to Attention Deficit, once again filled with technical highlights. Also in the studio these guys have worked their asses off as you can witness from the backward "loops" on "American Jingo." Manring's fretless bass in "Any Unforeseen Event" reminds me of John Giblin, whilst the music becomes a melting pot of Brand X, Return to Forever, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa topped with a nice layer of Pat Metheny. The nice thing about Attention Deficit is the fact that each of the songs, although strictly instrumental, kind of tells a story. There's depth in the compositions, a lot of melody is added, whilst the whole is served in a very lyrical way. The interplay between bass and drums during "Low Voter Turnout" simply is breathtaking. Guitar and bass try to push each other off the road during "Unclear Inarticulate Things." Jaco Pastorius re-lives during "RSVP," whilst Metheny gets a gold medal during "Dubya". The vitamins come pouring out of our speakers by means of a well-thought out balance between technique and melody, something most of these projects seem to suffer from.

Attention Deficit is a garage where they do a makeover from a total loss into a top range convertible with door handles made from the purest gold and a dashboard set off with real diamonds. You'd be an idiot if you wouldn't go for a test drive!

American Jingo (4:04) / Any Unforeseen Event (3:10) / The Risk Of Failure (7:41) / Low Voter Turnout (4:47) / Unclear, Inarticulate Things (4:05) / RSVP (7:53) / My Fellow Astronauts (4:04) / Dubya (7:12) / The Killers Are To Blame (4:24) / Nightmare On 48th Street (3:41) / Public Speaking Is Very Easy (2:03)

Alex Skolnick - guitar
Tim Alexander - drums, guitar
Michael Manring - bass

Attention Deficit (1998)
The Idiot King (2001)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 18th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1245
Language: english


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