...not unlike Tim Buckley singing with Paradieswarts-era Amon Duul 1. It's a long way from Ministry Mr Connelly…
Chris Connelly – The Episodes
Oofph, a great record this; a CD that sat uncomplaining by my stereo for nigh on a month... how did I overlook it? Still I can tell you about it now.
First thing to note is that in terms of track-length, The Episodes has only one piece below the seven minute mark. And to say the style of playing is "organic" would be to under-egg the pudding. As such the accent, right from the opener Mirror Lips, is on intensely rhythmic, acoustic streams of consciousness; not unlike Tim Buckley singing with Paradieswarts-era Amon Duul 1. It's a long way from Ministry Mr Connelly... The record's main charm is in the way the (often "heavy") lyrical content somehow sits comfortably with the upbeat arrangements, though I'd say it's pretty difficult to be maudlin when there are about 15 percussion instruments on the go.
Stand out tracks for me are Every Ghost Has an Orchestra, which boasts a very strange, almost impassive instrumental backdrop, reminiscent at moments of Terry Riley. Following that is the magnificent Henry vs. Miller which starts as a discordant racket but settles down to become a melodramatic, Crime & the City Solution-style story of love and loss. Quite surprisingly the last track, Empty Coda, is all of two minutes long and about the straightest track on the album. Weirder still, it acts as an effective and appropriate ending.
Hunt this LP down, it's tremendous.
Words: Richard Foster