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Parable of Arable Land [2CD]
     

Parable of Arable Land [2CD]

by The Red Krayola
 

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After Houston-based International Artists Records enjoyed unexpected commercial success with one of the most eccentric bands to emerge from the State of Texas, the 13th Floor Elevators, the label's proprietors presumably set out to find some folks who were even weirder, and they found a band that fit the bill in the Red

Overview

After Houston-based International Artists Records enjoyed unexpected commercial success with one of the most eccentric bands to emerge from the State of Texas, the 13th Floor Elevators, the label's proprietors presumably set out to find some folks who were even weirder, and they found a band that fit the bill in the Red Crayola. The group's 1967 debut album, The Parable of Arable Land, actually documents the work of two different groups; the Red Crayola themselves conjure up a sound that's part psychedelia, part garage punk, and partly some sort of experimental rock that would not truly make itself known until many years down the road, and they generate an impressively freaked-out energy on deliberately primitive numbers like "War Sucks" and "Hurricane Fighter Plane." Six of the 12 tracks on The Parable of Arable Land are devoted to the Red Crayola; the rest find the three members of the group collaborating with 45 friends, acquaintances, and fellow travelers credited as "the Familiar Ugly." The Familiar Ugly tracks are each credited as "Free Form Freak-Out," an inarguably apt description, and they feature the various participants making all manner of chaotic noise on musical instruments both real and imagined as well as various household objects, and though the roiling mass of sound occasionally threatens to cohere into something, within moments it invariably descends back into the sound of several dozen hippies trying to navigate their way out of a trap of their own lysergic imagination. The album allows the songs to rise in and out of the "Freak-Out" segments, a bit like an overheard conversation, and the Red Crayola seem to be having great fun making audio manipulation part of their music, particularly on the bent and noisy title track in which they descend into a familiar ugly of their own. However, compared to their later work, guitarist and vocalist Mayo Thompson, bassist Steve Cunningham, and drummer Rick Barthelme actually deliver relatively straightforward and coherent performances on the band tracks, which generate a spaced-out but potent groove. While the truly bent Texas psychedelic scene of the 1960s provided a context in which the Red Crayola could thrive, The Parable of Arable Land exists on a plane all its own; if art-damaged noise rock began anywhere, it was on this album. (The group changed its name to the Red Krayola to avoid a lawsuit after the release of this album, and it has appeared under both group names in various issues.) [For Snapper/Charly's 2011 reissue of The Parable of Arable Land, the label pulled out all the stops, presenting a remastered two-disc edition of the album in both stereo and mono mixes. Disc one, the stereo version, includes six bonus tracks, featuring demos and outtakes from the Parable sessions, while disc two contains the mono mix, and repeats the Red Crayola tracks without the Familiar Ugly sections for those who want to hear the songs on their own. Add a 16-page booklet with excellent liner notes from Paul Drummond, and you get the best-sounding and most attractive release of this album to date.]

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2011
Label:
Snapper Uk
UPC:
0803415762125
catalogNumber:
621
Rank:
60098

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