INTENSE MEN - 100% Intense

Intense Men - 100% Intense

15 songs
33:08 minutes
***** ***


I don’t think I have ever come across a gayer cover artwork than the one of 100% Intense by Intense Men from New Jersey. This experimental jazz rock quartet consists of musicians otherwise active in grind jazz band Mothguts and dance proggers No Use For Humans.

This debut album contains ten short compositions and five slightly longer improvisations, but frankly, apart from their durations, it’s hard to hear a difference, which speaks for this band’s ability to play freely without falling into chaos. The typical rock instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums is complemented by the rather atypical contra alto clarinet, which in this case takes over the role of a vocalist, switching between dark brooding melodies and shrieking madness. Although there are some parts that you will recognise after repeated listening, Intense Men’s music is rather jarring, not unlike the more abrasive moments of Naked City. The musicians are without an exception totally gifted on their instruments, and they also understand how to build a sense of dynamics. At times their songs sound very foreboding, erupting all of a sudden into cacophonous disharmonies that can at any moment return to a more harmonic interaction. At times adopting the doom filled jazziness of King Crimson and even occasionally the fusion dexterity of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the instrumental quartet adopts its influences without neglecting to transport them into newer territory.

After a good half hour, the fun is already over, leaving the listener yearning for more. Fans of experimental avant-garde jazz rock are in for a treat!

Back to Reviews