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The Punky Art Rock of The Work

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THE WORK: See (CD on Ad Hoc Records)

Originally released in 1992, this 2010 CD reissue offers 44 minutes of emphatically controlled chaos music.

The Work is: Mick Hobbs, Tim Hodgkinson (ex-Henry Cow), Bill Gilonis, and Rick Wilson.

Dissonant melodies are harnessed by conventional instruments played with unconventional fervor.

The guitars are extremely quirky, belting out riffs that clash with each other yet manage to mesh with the other instruments. A plethora of methods are used to goad noises from the strings, from rapid-fire strumming to distorted torture.

The eccentric percussion pursues rhythms of fervent power that are often exhausting to experience.

The basslines rumble away, often bullying their way to the forefront from the depths of the tight mix.

The vocals are concerned with contrasting reason with unreason, exposing puzzling connections between unlike aspects of life. In striking contrast to the band's earlier releases, these voices sing rather than screech the lyrics, employing a variety of modes to deliver the vocals.

These compositions border on chaos, but manage to deliver a sense of coherency despite that frenzy. Aspects of punk are saturated with progressive mien to deliver an unique dose of grinding sonics.

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THE WORK: The 4th World (CD on Ad Hoc Records)

This release from 2010 offers 51 minutes of emphatic music. Recorded live in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, on April 18, 1994, this never-before-released album can be considered the "hard" version of the band's Live in Japan album.

The Work is: Mick Hobbs (on bass, sine generators, percussion, guitar, and voice), Tim Hodgkinson (on flat guitar, keyboard, alto saxophone, and main voice), Bill Gilonis (on guitar and voice), and Rick Wilson (on drums and voice).

Minimalism collides with dense overkill and ends up flourishing through progressive post-punk sensibilities.

Lots of guitars deliver chords of harsh disposition, some lilting, some dissonant. Any means deemed necessary are applied to derive the appropriate weirdness from the strings.

Bass growls amidst this chaos like a subterranean beast.

Drums provide impulsive propulsion, alternating between clear-cut tempos and erratic rhythms. In either fashion, the beats throb with a sincere puissance.

Some electronics provide a synthetic undercurrent for this edgy tuneage.

There are a lot of vocals, while the lyrical contents of the songs were montaged together from art catalogues, sacred books, mistranslated poems, medical manuals, teaching material, newspapers and play scriptsÉresulting in highly strange messages.

These compositions exemplify the band's dedication to stand outside classification. The songs are generally brief, standing as compressed doses of wildness. Aspects of punk are mashed together with freeform jazz and conventional rock. The result spills forth as a genre unto itself typified by independent expressionism.

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