Do you remember the FM classic from the Edgar Winter Band called, "Frankenstein?" For those who donít, itís quite a catchy instrumental made up of late 70s hard rock riffs. It changes and mutates so everyone in the band has a chance to show off, and most of all, it sounds like they have a lot of fun doing it. This is what the second Liquid Tension Experiment album reminds me of, time and time again. There is something more relaxed about this offering compared to the first album. Instead of setting out to prove themselves as a progressive instrumental unit, LTE seems to put the joy of jamming, wailing out outrageous solos, and creating lots of unexpected textures and noise at the fore.
The music still has a strong heavy-metal base, but the band is willing to wholly abandon it at times for things funkier, groovier, and more psychedelic. The tunes that really stand out for me are: "Acid Rain" - a full-frontal metal assault; "Another Dimension" - a great sprawling progressive piece but not too long; and "Chewbacca" - Tony Levin really shines in this one. Most songs begin and end with the same musical theme, leaving the middle open for play and experimentation.
Does it cover any new ground musically? Honestly, no. What you hear is reminiscent of much of the hard-rock/heavy-metal of the past few decades. But the fact remains that itís good - real good. These guys rock out and rock out hard. And if youíre like me, and have gotten sick of puerile and negative heavy metal lyrics but still love to rock, this CD is a gem. Overall, I give this a B+. But if you donít care for metal, or your ear has been jaded to it over the years, best to move on.
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