Walter Horn/Gary Kendig/Hugh Dickey Screwdriver!
Published Sep 01, 1999Walter Horn's swirling Sun Ra-like other worldly synth ripples cushion Hugh Dickey's strangled guitar shards on the opener, "Chainsaw at Sousa's Funeral,” announcing this is no easy ride. Kendig's drums kick in and the track heads into the dark depths and burning metallic fury that should make any death metaller quake. Unlike other avant rock power trios like Massacre and Last Exit, who would just drop the hammer and rock out, these three can hold in their general brattiness and barely contained agitation long enough to come up with surprising passages like Horn's delicate keyboard murmuring and Dickey's clarinet on "Sushi Lounge" and the serene Blade Runner synth and drum interplay on "Welcome to a Lonely Village.” But you just know with a title track called Screwdriver! that they are going to leave all subtlety behind and they do. Screwdriver!, imagines Fred Frith jamming with Red-era King Crimson. (Leo Lab)