June 22, 2006

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Don Caballero, World Class Listening Problem
Relapse Records, 2006

Earlier this year, in a departure from their usual practice of signing big-shot metalpalooza bait such as High on Fire and Nile, Relapse picked up a few instrumental-only bands, the most prized of which are semi-legendary proggers Don Caballaro, free on waivers from Touch and Go. With Relapse holding the wallet, fans would have every right to expect a return to the dizzying Slayer-vs-ELP mishmash with which they’d flipped out the world in For Respect and later converted to docile String Cheese indie in the generally disliked American Don, but it’s neither, and - luckily for drummer and sole surviving original member Damon Che - there’s sure to be wide acceptance of the punk-jazz middle ground WCLP treads. The band’s whiz-bang talents concentrate on fragile, clunky and appropriately mangled emo sounds suggesting the likes of Mineral, all their metallic violence expended on liftoff track “Mmm, acting, I love me some good acting,” a stab at what might result from 80s Ministry trying to impress a Harvard babe. B-

— Eric Saeger


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