Allied Recordings Fan Blog

A fan site for the amazing but now defunct record label Allied Recordings. They put out 100 amazing records during the 1990s featuring the artwork of John Yates. Some of the band included Nausea, Phleg Camp, Fuel, Assuck, Everready and hundreds more. Read great reviews and history from these great record label.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Alter-natives - Buzz - CD featuring members of Gwar on SST Records

Originating in Richmond, VA and signed to an experimentally minded SST records in the late '80s, the Alter-Natives were a flute and sax led improv-esque quartet that received high marks for their instrumental brand of noise. Both 1986's Hold Your Tongue and 1988's Group Therapy were based around this set up, but 1989's Buzz scaled back the flute and sax for a more traditional set up, using the old favorites: drums, bass, and guitar. As a strange aside, the Alter-Natives also carried within their ranks an early member of cartoon metal crazies, GWAR. Drummer Jim Thompson played with the foam-padded pariahs until 1987 as Hans Sphincter (later changed to Hans Orifice).

The departure of saxophonist Eric Ungar from the Alter-Natives changed the band's sound in more ways than just the loss of an instrument. On Buzz, the group turned from a jazzy sound to one with more connections to progressive and space rock, albeit an unusually concise, powerful, and disciplined version of those genres. Only "Blackhole" gets a bit self-indulgent with the guitar noise during the extended middle section, and even that is more than compensated for by the way the band pulls together for the last few minutes of the track and returns to the delicate main theme. Buzz is an excellent album with inspired playing and some memorable tunes; it's a shame it was the last release from the band.
Alter-natives - Buzz - CD featuring members of Gwar on SST Records

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