Saturday, February 7, 2009


Captain Beefheart's "Doc at The Radar Station"(1980) is a very strong release that is often overshadowed by his monumental experimentalism on "Trout Mask Replica" and other releases of the late 1960's/early 1970's. "Doc at the Radar Station", however, is not an album that should be overlooked. Captain Beefheart and his band draw from the bizarre, surreal, improvisatory sound of "Trout Mask Replica" but make it leaner, meaner, more frightening and accessible. The horns and the dissonant disturbing guitar work are there but more streamlined, with more of a blues feel. The stop on the dime time changes are still there. Captain Beefheart's vocals are deep, raspy, and nightmarish. The music sounds as if Howlin' Wolf recorded an album in hell. And the lyrics! They are brilliant surreal poetry, at times bordering on Dada, especially on the unsettling track "Making Love to a Vampire with a Monkey on My Knee". The album ranges from the extremely catchy ("Hot Head"), to the unsettling and deranged ("Ashtray Heart"). Overall "Doc at the Radar Station" has a disturbing, nervous, nightmarish vibe to it with just enough hooks to make you want to come back for more again and again. For the adventurous music listener only.

Here's "Ashtray Heart"...

Doc at the Radar Station

...and the brilliant "Making Love To A Vampire With a Monkey On My Knee". Enjoy!

Making Love To A Vampire With A Monkey On My Knee (2006 Digital Remaster) - Captain Beefheart

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