Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. – Son of a Bitches BrewPosted by Robert Catherall
For a group as prolific and brazenly devoted to rock ‘n’ roll as the numerous incarnations of Acid Mothers Temple have been, The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.’s latest mimicry of Miles Davis’ groundbreaking 1970 album Bitches Brew once again sees them exploring the sonic supernatural. With countless albums, collaborations, song titles and ruminations that nod to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Gong, King Crimson and Terry Riley (to name a few), AMT’s hell-bent adaptation of jazz-fusion is a welcome evolution for long-time AMT fans. For nearly fifteen years the Japanese rockers have embraced their allegiance to prog-rock and the musically experimental. Now, stepping into prog’s sister song–jazz-fusion–Son of a Bitches Brew combines the audacity of Kawabata Makoto’s devilish solos and Hiroshi Higashi’s electronic manipulations with a strung-out saxophone and fiery keyboards.
Led by a frontman whose musical guidance is a self-professed channelling of the cosmos, the “soul collective”‘s latest release makes no reservations when adopting Davis’ definitive electric era sound. But where the jazz icon’s work was introspective and searching, Son of a Bitches Brew has the freak-rockers up to their usual antics inspired by Western rock records, black leather jackets, and some very hard drugs. Retaining their trademark demonic riffs, otherworldly electronics and tireless rhythm section, AMT burn through seven songs over the 75 minute scourge to create a psychedelic carnival for the ears.
Turning a kick ass party into a spiritual experience is AMT’s modus operandi and once again they do a damn good job of it on Son of a Bitches Brew. Complex allegories and high-brow ideas are largely absent in their releases and this is no exception. With its slapstick humour and abrupt plot twists, the whole experience can feel like an eighties sci-fi b-film gone awry.
Following a few false starts and ominous laughter the album finally transcends the earth’s atmosphere to take the form of a blazing sonic fireball nearly eight minutes into the opening “Son of a Bitches Brew”. Cruising through outer space, the album frequently takes side trips into the unknown. Complete dissociation is first achieved on the epic rendition of Pharaoh’s Dance, “Fellatioh’s Dance also Bitches Blow” whose suggestive title does little to overshadow the echoes of Tsuyama Atsushi’s languid saxophone. In typical Outsteppers’ fashion, rhythms change abruptly on “Water Babies Kill Kill Kill”, which rattles between jubilant mayhem and hard-driving meltdown a number of times.
Wandering around the cosmos leaves the group with plenty of time to intersperse their freaky jams with cosmic confusion and disconnected ideas on cuts like “Helen Buddha; Miss Condom X” and “Tabata Mitsuru” in attempts to summon the formless notions of free-jazz. Straightforward speed-rock makes a comeback on the latter half of the record though as Kawabata’s blazing guitar swirls through the speakers on “Theme From Violence Jack Johnson”. By the closing “Sweet Peanut vs. Macedonian Beauty” the temporary insanity and mystifying theme changes become exhausting as Davis’ influence is barely audible.
For avid AMT fans the new territory explored on this release is one more astral playground for your daydreams. It should be a welcome change, and if it isn’t you can be sure they’ll release another sixty minutes of mind bending psych-rock in a few months time. Veritable jazz from hell, Son of a Bitches Brew is yet another pun from the cosmic inferno.