Digital Albums
Artist: Volcano The Bear

Five Hundred Boy Piano

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Tracklist & Samples

Hairy Queen listen
Seeker listen
The Tallest People In The World listen
Wooden Sailus listen
Five Hundred Boy Piano listen
I Am The Mould listen


"...Is it just me or are the Volcano The Bear boys beginning to make some semblage of sense these days? In fact change that to, becoming more playful. It could however be due a saturation of a high intake of E-numbers in my dietary intake that is making my head mushy, causing a sludging of my thought processes to make what was once very illogical become highly logical. Does that make sense? I won't bother waiting for an answer to that as I assume the answer is a resounding no. But then we are here to review a release by, let's face it now, the most eccentric band in the UK, or the world for that matter. Volcano The Bear you get the impression are toying with us, their output has always confounded. Their branded mix of oddly constructed psychedelia has often bordered on the absurd, to approach their releases is to do so with an open mind forearmed with the knowledge that you'll never view music in the same way again. To think that they breathe the same air is equally shocking/enlightening (delete as best suits). Let's get this straight from the start, Five Hundred Boy Piano is still awkwardly indigestible, not as wholesomely scary as previous adventures, in fact on this six movement display there is a deep sense of organized chaos that comes to fruition. Deliberate or accidental you decide. VTB may not be your common or garden S Club 7 wannabes, but there is at play an unworldly texture to their ambition. Their style is borne of fragments as wide ranging as art rock encompassing the demented elements of Henry Cow: a restoration of avantgardism, like an unhinged Residents and a very real sense of eccentric English psychedelia that surpasses the acid madcap shrills of it's greatest usurper, Syd Barret. beneath the oddball direction, VTB instill an almost comic element to Five Hundred Boy Piano that almost hints at a darkened abstract Monty Python at work. Hairy Queen opens the set, likening the sound to Viv Stanshall in full flight amid a scene from The Wicker Man, casually unorthodox and medieval in texture. Seeker begins with an eerie drone ambient style melody that could easily befit the Oggum label, before engaging in a dizzying mix of meditational blasts, see-saw manipulations, ravaged improvised jazz segments, twisted eastern flavours and sea shanty delights. The Tallest People In The World is a triptych of sorts, Being which makes up the first segment with its fluid sounds and chilling Druid-like chanting makes for disconcerting listening while Peanut Puppet could almost act as a soundtrack for some obscure cartoon from Poland. Throughout Tic/Toc you're made to feel you are presiding over some kind of ritualistic ceremony overseen by Stockhausen. Scorching and frantically dissected half-chords, uneven rhythms and an abuse of goofiness manifest itself within the title track, their ability to flitter from any suggested style to the next at such unexpected pace recalling mechanics applied by the Japanese futuro-electro-techno crew. I Am The Mould probably offers the most stimulation in as far as the accepted notion of music goes, slowly dragging in texture, given a mystical charm by the use of middle-eastern themes and some wide-screen style piano segments, quite soothing if truth be told. hard to live with, but even harder to live without..." © Mark Barton