Tom Hayes 28-April-2001 Invisible College

A review in Audion #28 boasts enthusiastically about No Zen Orchestra, "a lysergic disembowelment of Can, Amon Duul, Neu! and the like, extended almost trance-like, with pulsating drums and walls of guitars" and " what sounds like Soon Over Babaluma era Can jamming with Ash Ra Tempel!" And Gunter Schickert's involved! Well, I said, I have to have that! Of course, the reality is this is a prototypical late 1980's/early 1990's brooding minimalistic alternative rock exercise. As expected, the Can references are more of the repetitive and metronomic nature of the drums and the Damo/Malcolm styled-vocals than anything else. Comparing to lysergic anything and Ash Ra Tempel are beyond my imagination. Industrial precision and Japanese style noise guitar, though, are very apparent. Nothing wrong with that mind you. I will also assume that Schickert's contributions are perfunctory. Tattoo clad, body-pierced, multi-colored hair and black shirted neo-Kraut hipsters would go all amok for this. For me, it's a mere curiosity that grows a bit tiresome though overall there's enough unique material to hold onto. The CD is near extinct, so grab it immediately if you are so inclined.

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