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David Cross - Testing to Destruction  CD (album) cover


David Cross


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.37 | 30 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Calamity, my friend

My first experience with David Cross (outside of King Crimson) was his solo studio album Exiles and the live album Alive In The Underworld (the latter credited to The David Cross Band). The present album came just before Exiles and one of the tracks here, the opening Learning Curve, was also featured on Alive In The Underworld. It is a great track in both the studio and live versions. The highlight of Testing To Destruction is however the second track called Calamity. This is an excellent nine minute, progressive composition which tells the story of a shipwreck in a clever way. David Cross himself on violin and the band backing him up really shine here. Had the rest of the album been as good as the first two tracks we would be looking at a much higher rating from me, but sadly nothing of what comes after matches these first two tracks. The instrumental Welcome To Frisco functions like an extended coda to Calamity and may be seen as following the ship down to the bottom of the sea with its haunting cries and ghostly laments.

The Affable Mister G is an up-tempo track with a raw, almost Punk-ish feel. Not impressive. Next up is another instrumental, this time of an improvisational nature. The Swing Arm Disconnects goes nowhere and is much too long to keep my interest. Not my cup of tea. After this comes a track that on the first listen made me wonder if Spotify had shifted to another album altogether. Trip Wire is a bad Pop song that doesn't fit in here. This is then followed by another couple of aimless instrumentals, with the short title track being close to unlistenable. The final track, Abo, runs for 12 minutes. It is not bad, but it takes much too long to get off the ground and then there is not a lot of interesting things happening.

Testing To Destruction is recommended for Learning Curve and, especially, the excellent Calamity, but sadly the rest of the album is just not up to the same high standard which bring the rating down to two stars. Shame.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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