Artist: The Unknown Instructors
Title: “The Way Things Work”
Label: Smog Veil Records
Release Date: 9/20/2005
“The Way Things Work” is the debut album by the Unknown Instructors which by their label are listed as a Punk-Jazz-Rock Experimental Super-Group and if you think that the specification is a lot to absorb just wait until you hear what’s happening on the CD. The sound is unlike anything that I had ever heard and that’s because it blends the elements of Jazz with Punk and also freeform spoken word poetry which when blended together deliver something that is not easily enjoyed or even understood with one simple listen. The fascinating project finds Mike Watt on bass, George Hurley on drums, Joe Baiza on guitar, Dan McGuire on vocals with special guest Jack Brewer offering up additional vocals. According to the press release that I dug up when listening to the album the entire release was recorded during one involved four hour session and all of the vocals were improvised. This made it rather interesting to absorb because how does one define good or bad on something where so much creativity is pulling the musical understanding into different shapes and forms that are not often done together. This might not be something for everyone, but I feel those lovers of the Progressive vibe might be open to it or those who lean to the extreme Avant-garde Experimental sort of things. As I mentioned this piece of music cannot be clearly understood after a single listen and I myself had spun it several times before I even had any semblance of an idea about it. I think if you are someone who appreciates those who bring difference to the musical table might enjoy it the most while those who have a clear genre classification that they abide by should give this a pass. They wouldn’t get it nor be expected to.
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