JASON WILLETT AND RON ANDERSON - Be The First On The Block To Eat The Snake

Jason Willett and Ron Anderson - Be The First On The Block To Eat The Snake

20 songs
41:40 minutes
RA Sounds


A couple of days ago, when I wrote a review for PAK's latest album Motel, I felt awed at the ingenuity with which avant jazz mastermind Ron Anderson was combining freeform structures with big jazz movements. Be The First On The Block To Eat The Snake is a whole different story altogether though. According to history, Ron Anderson and Jad Fair collaborator Jason Willett locked themselves for a couple of days in a studio with a bunch of instruments (guitar, bass, drums, assorted percussion, keyboard, organ, electronics, trumpet, cello, banjo and too many too mention) and just started playing along, recording what happened. This could have been a fun endeavour, if there had been more structure, but as it turned out, this sounds like two kids (and kids they certainly are not) trapped in a place with so many wonders that they only can try things for a moment without ever even trying to develop anything further. The album starts already with a chaotic piece called Chickadickadickadeeoh, and then the following Floppy Zingtoo turns out to be a really cool fanfare-like song that's reminding me of a march of demented clowns, it unfortunately turns out to be the only true song on the album. From there on, it's really something else, not exactly what I call a bad album, but also not necessarily what most of you out there would call music. Weird song titles (Hot Spit From A Ckllalglyhiix, Cigarettes Are Great, The Spinning Globe Descending Flights Of Stairs) don't seem to have any correlation to the music, and like any amount of good musicians playing together, there happen to be moments of burgeoning genius, but most of the time you really understand why this album, recorded in the summers of 1996 and 1997, was only released on Anderson's own label in 2003. If you like strange sounds in the musical vicinity of fast Naked City, early Boredoms or experimental Mr Bungle, then you can have fun with this album, otherwise you better skip this collection of twenty raw and unfinished works-in-progress. Only the very adventurous listener will stand a chance.

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