CD Review – The Bob Lazar Story – Vanquisher

Vanquisher album coverThe Bob Lazar Story is the musical brainchild of Matt Deacon, a Liverpudlian self-exiled in New Zealand since 1998, whose sporadic musical experience playing and teaching gained momentum with the advent of affordable technology to record tunes, culminating in a 2004 release. The appearance of US based drummer Chris Jago created a more cohesive sound on 2012’s Space Roots. Signed to the supportive and arguably equally eclectic Bad Elephant Music in 2017, the release of Baritonia was described by Prog magazine as an album where “the free-wheeling confidence of the execution carries the day”. Wished I’d thought of that sentence, ‘cos it’s bob on accurate, even on 2019’s Vanquisher!

Let’s see. How many times in your lifetime have you listened to an album and really enjoyed a musical idea, acknowledged a technically brilliant section of music or found yourself enraptured in part of a song – only for that part or section to go on and on. And on. And on? A wonderful, inspired idea done to death through a lack of ongoing invention or a dogged persistence in pointless minor variations on one solitary theme. Well – you won’t get that here. This band are masters of brevity, kings of the concise, and true believers in the mantra ‘less is more’. It’s their contrary intention to confuse the listener and confound the listening experience. With song times ranging from 6 minutes to 17 seconds, it’s an album of audio snapshots.

BTW I dropped on this clarification of who Bob Lazar is:

“Robert Scott Lazar /; born January 26, 1959) is an American businessman, film processor, pyrotechnician, and owner of United Nuclear Scientific Equipment and Supplies. Lazar is primarily known for his claims of being hired in the late 1980s to reverse engineer purported extraterrestrial technology at a secret site called S-4, located several kilometres south of the Area 51 United States Air Force (USAF) facility. Lazar claims he examined an alien craft that ran on an antimatter reactor powered by the (then un-synthesized) element 115. He also claims to have read US government briefing documents that described alien involvement in human affairs over the past 10,000 years. Lazar’s claims resulted in bringing added public attention to the Area 51 United States Air Force facility.” (Wikipedia)

So how on earth can I describe them to you? How about the impishness of Zappa, the technical considerations of Crimson, the independence of the Cardiacs and an Emersonian flourish at times. Certainly a musical viewpoint alien to most.

It’s a smorgasbord,  a tapas, a taster dinner. Plenty of variety but without the fulfilment of a whole meal. But some would argue – without the stodge. Countless clever ideas flit past, some barely given time for any form of development, but put before us as if a demo or interlude. Good melodies, intricate structures, complex rhythms, curveballs and a self indulgence that doesn’t overstay its welcome. But then there’s Tony!!

You’ll either get it or you won’t. 

The Bob Lazar Story – Vanquisher

  1. Pongville
  2. Eleven
  3. Eyes Only/Vanquisher
  4. Section 8
  5. Project Top Secret
  6. Arps
  7. Ambient Pedals
  8. Randoloftentimes
  9. Is This Foodstool?
  10. Tony!!
  11. Restroom
  12. Goodbye Victor Tripaldi
  13. Hooves & Broken Biscuits
  14. Two For The Rest
  15. Operation Full Klinger
  16. Elvensnip

Matt Deacon – guitar, mouse, vocals

Chris Jago – drums, percussion and screams, 

with 

Mike Fudakowski – bass on 1, 2, 7, 13 & 14, 

Jacob Petrossian – lead guitar on ‘Ambient Pedals’, 

Zeke Deacon – vocals on Tony!!

All songs written, recorded and mixed by Matt Deacon. Drums recorded and mixed at Shabby Road Studios, Los Angeles, by Chris Jago Mastered by David Elliott

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