CD Legends of Williamson County (CD 6492333),
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Legends of Williamson County
Greg Ginn & the Taylor Texas Corrugators/Greg Ginn
1. Welcome, Stranger
2. Not Plum But Pert' Near
3. Dizzy Pickle
4. ...Is He Dead
5. Twirly Bird
6. Right Kind of Medication, The
7. Breakfast at Night
8. Lung Devices
10. Trailing Through a Molasses Laiden Swamp
11. Canyons of Your Mind, The
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 380
Personnel: Greg Ginn (guitar, organ); Gary Piazza (guitar); Sean Hutchinson (drums).
Recording information: SST Studios, Taylor, TX.
Legends of Williamson County is the third recording project by Greg Ginn & the Taylor Texas Corrugators, where they move deeper into the science of groove without losing their trippy wanderings. With Ginn playing guitar, bass, and organ, Gary Piazza on guitar, and drummer Sean Hutchinson (of New Monsoon), the unit lay out 12 songs in a little over an hour, full of repetitive riffing that establishes a head-nodding, fingerpopping base from which they split off in interesting directions. "Welcome Stranger" opens on a spaghetti western motif that quickly moves toward funk and slippery mutant surf vamps with organ shimmering in the background, as an in-the-cut bassline and snare hi-hat groove hold down the center. Seamlessly "NOT PLUM BUT PERT NEAR" (sic), a nearly eight-minute jam, begins with guitar dissonance and a mutation of the riff from the previous cut, but gets funkier before Ginn's organ moves off into jazz improv territory, pushing the established rhythm toward the margins while Hutchinson gets in some tasty breaks. "Dizzy Pickle" uses blues vamps, counterpoint, and mutant funk to create a mutant country psychedelia. The bassline on "The Right Kind of Medication" pushes both guitars and drums to follow its twists and turns in shifting time and key signatures, all the while being so melodically insistent it gets inside the listener's head. Other tracks, such as "Lung Devices," seem to be at odds with one another: two guitars play at opposite ends of a lyric spectrum while drums pop monotonously, and organ plays through chord changes that are only tangentially related to the loose harmonic frame of the tune. The most surprising tune on the set is the nine-plus minute "FSP" that would not have been out of place as a Grateful Dead improvisation. It's all dark, swirling, half-developed ideas and open-ended musical statements that drift as they move sideways rather than forward. The album closes with the formless and speculative "Trailing Through a Molasses Laden Swamp" which is all atmosphere, and "The Canyon of Your Mind" that feels like more of an intro than an outro, though it does have melodic traces buried inside it. There is plenty here to like; Legends of Williamson County is the tightest record this unit has released. ~ Thom Jurek
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