Radio I Ching No Wave Au Go Go

Radio I Ching's new disc features a more conventional sound than ever before. The trio of Andy Haas, Don Fiorino and Dee Pop swing nicely but this is relatively low on the freak-out scale of past outings. Part of the reason is Haas's loyalty to the saxophone on this disc, augmented only sparingly by his splatter-prone electronics. What remains are the twisted takes on Americana and the group's assured originals. The band have never sounded more unified than on this disc, both in their rapport and in the mix, which is a little washed out with reverb, at times. Moments of fractiousness remain: a suitably creepy version of Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso" bubbles and boils with Fiorino's guitar effects plumbing lower frequencies, and a tribute also skips along with piercing energy. Pop is always tasteful on the kit; his grooves never sound like he's trying to imitate anyone else. Personally, I prefer these guys a bit wilder and with fewer rock touches but on the other hand, this could be an easy stepping stone into Haas's work for the uninitiated. (Resonant)