Deep Dark United Fools!

After the sketches comes the first canvas. Having released the Zettel CD last year, a post-Fell Gang back from hiatus calling card of four-track demos through the dissemination of which the current Deep Dark United line-up was forged, Alex Lukashevsky and gang (which consists of about a half-and-half blend of Blackeyes and Woodchoppers Association miscreants) holed up on the Toronto Islands in Dale Morningstar's new Gas Station, weathering an early winter weekend storm by bashing out these versions of newer material. And it must be emphasised that these are merely versions; no two DDU performances are ever alike, as they seem to gleefully thrive on a sort of self-sabotage teetering at the precipice of the open-eared musicianship/reckless abandon divide. So what about the songs? Well, opening ass-backwards with a literal every song thrown in at once "hidden-track" gumbo ambush is one of the best "with us or against us" lines in the sand of recent memory. Other highlights include the lopsided 13/8 shuffle of "Mental Case Blues," the self-described Devoed-out robot riffing in stilted 12s at the heart of "Down With Peacock Rock" and Brodie West and Dave Clark's respective doubled sax honks and pulse-time snare snaps that infectiously punctuate the latently menacing percolations of "Tammy Two-Cocks." As for the lyrics, Alex's sordid scat nugget throwaways are likely to seduce even the most straight-laced listener. All in all, Fools! is hearty, definitive and downright disorienting. (Kosher Rock)