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Rascal Reporters - Happy Accidents CD (album) cover

HAPPY ACCIDENTS

Rascal Reporters

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.53 | 9 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars With a name like RASCAL REPORTERS you know these guys have a sense of humour. The band is actually two guys named Steve who were High School friends and both are multi- instrumentalists. I must admit that I often don't check out specifics of an album I'm listening to until I've spent some time with it, so yes I was very surprised to read the guests helping out here. In fact I really thought this was mostly a keyboard/ drum recording, which I guess it is(haha) but I missed the guitar and horns for some reason. Oh and who knew Steve F. from Cuneiform records was a musician? Not me, but he plays guitar on one track. Also Nick Didkovsky from DR. NERVE also plays guitar on one track, Guy Segers from UNIVERS ZERO plays bass on one track, James Grigsby and Dave Kerman both play percussion on one track, both from 5UU'S and Dave Newhouse from THE MUFFINS is the most prominent guest playing flute and sax and he plays on three tracks.

This is the album many state as RASCAL REPORTERS best and the fact it was released in 1988 a time that was pretty bleak for Prog fans certainly didn't hurt. This album has been a tough one for me to get into, it's divided into two suites and the opening one I quite like but I get annoyed with the second one which certainly affects my rating. It's just not clicking with me. It really sounds like they use a toy keyboard or something and there's some high pitched sounds that make me squint a bit. Yes I'm laughing right now. Hey this is avant music. The album seems to have a theme and that being transport trucks as the first suite is called "Weigh In On The Way- Out" and the second being "Trucks", yes I'm a genius. And the title of the album of course fit this.

"Pilgrim's Pride" has such a feel good intro that will be reprised a couple of times including near the end of the final track of this suite. I like when it suddenly turns melancholic with solo solemn flute. It kicks in a minute later with drums and high pitched keyboards. Another change a minute later as we get some great sounding angular guitar along with organ as percussion and drums support. Lots of more changes follow then that happy intro soundscape is reprised but it settles quickly as we get plenty of pulsating keys until the intro is reprised to end it. "The Chalky Substance Variations" is fast paced and avant before it calms right down with piano. Violin joins in and this is quite pleasant. Drums and distorted keys take over before the piano returns with drums this time. Again lots of changes on this track too.

"Karen's Chalky Pilgrim" opens with keys and shuffling drums before the keys start to pulsate and snapping fingers can be heard along with vocal melodies and bass too. A change 2 1/2 minutes in as drums and keys lead but with a different flavour. Pulsating keys are back along with bass and drums, catchy stuff. The intro from track one is reprised before it turns avant and it ends with some humour as we hear a sample of THE CARPENTERS popular song from back in the day. The "Trucks' suite is next with "Thunderstruck" as we here dual sounds that are off-set in this experimental intro before the drums kick in. Things change often though. It's dark before 2 minutes. Annoying high pitched sounds around 7 minutes pretty much to the end. "Moonstruck" has more high pitched keys with percussion and more. Not a fan. Fast paced high pitched keys after 3 minutes. It settles down before 5 minutes and flute eventually arrives before leading 7 1/2 minutes in as the tempo picks up and stays that way until the end.

Lots of fans of this one but it's just not my cup of tea overall.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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