Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 picture
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 biography
A Cisco-based experimental rock combo THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 (named after a group of hick armchair philosophers, TFUL282 for short), founded by Anne EICKELBERG, Brian HAGEMAN, and Mark DAVIES in 1986, had gigged and sessioned just like a commune crammed into one bedroom apartment in El Cerrito. In the following year, after their moving Oakland, Paul BERGEMANN and Hugh SWARTS joined the band and appeared on their first stage at the Gilman Street Project. In collaboration with a producer Greg FREEMAN, they released their debut cassette "Wormed By Leonard" in 1988, and their first vinyl "Tangle" in 1989, via their own label Thwart Productions.

1990 was another memorial year for them - Jay PAGET replaced Paul as a drummer, they went on the first nationwide tour in the summer, and made a contract with Matador Records in New York. Whilst touring around US (with Sun City Girls or so), they released "Lovelyville" (1991) and "Mother Of All Saints" (1992) via Matador Records. Gone on a tour to Europe in 1994 or joined Arena tour as a support act in 1995, they have released some LPs, EPs, compilations, or reissued albums until 2001. Their newest album (as of April, 2012) is "Bob Dinners And Larry Noodles Present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity Avalanche" released in 2001.

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 forum topics / tours, shows & news


THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 forum topics
No topics found for : "thinking fellers union local 282"
Create a topic now
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "thinking fellers union local 282"
Post an entries now

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282

Buy THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Music


LovelyvilleLovelyville
Matador Records 1991
$39.95
$15.99 (used)
Mother of All SaintsMother of All Saints
Matador Records 1994
$59.99
$4.65 (used)
Strangers From the UniverseStrangers From the Universe
Matador Records 1994
$37.49
$15.99 (used)
Bob Dinners and Larry Noodles present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity AvalancheBob Dinners and Larry Noodles present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity Avalanche
Communion Records 2001
$12.95
$3.80 (used)
Admonishing the BishopsAdmonishing the Bishops
EP
Matador Records 1994
$29.99
$3.87 (used)
I Hope It LandsI Hope It Lands
Communion Records 1996
$10.72
$5.97 (used)
Funeral PuddingFuneral Pudding
Ajax 1995
$12.99
$10.00 (used)
Wormed By LeonardWormed By Leonard
Thwart Records 1995
$11.48
$2.07 (used)
TangleTangle
Caroline Distribution 1994
$19.98
$8.98 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Tangle - Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Audio CD USD $19.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 ?- Strangers From The Universe CD USD $5.00 [0 bids]
3 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Lovelyville - CD - BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED USD $60.49 Buy It Now 3 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Bob Dinners And Larry Noodles Present NEW USD $28.95 Buy It Now 4 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Bob Dinners And Larry Noodles Present Tubby USD $15.95 Buy It Now 4 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 - I Hope It Lands [New CD] USD $14.96 Buy It Now 4 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 - I Hope It Lands [New CD] USD $15.62 Buy It Now 5 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL #282 - I HOPE IT LANDS NEW CD USD $18.85 Buy It Now 5 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Wormed By Leonard - CD - **SEALED/ NEW** USD $23.95 Buy It Now 6 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282,Tangle, USD $13.98 Buy It Now 7 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Funeral Pudding - CD - *NEW/STILL SEALED* USD $28.95 Buy It Now 7 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - I Hope It Lands - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $18.75 Buy It Now 8 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Lovelyville - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $41.75 Buy It Now 8 days
Strangers from the Universe by Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 (CD, Sep-1994, USD $15.99 Buy It Now 9 days
Wormed By Leonard, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Good USD $6.99 Buy It Now 10 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Bob Dinner & Larry Noodles CD EXPERIMENTAL ROCK USD $7.99 Buy It Now 16 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Lovelyville (vinyl LP on Matador) EX+/M- USD $30.00 Buy It Now 16 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - The Natural Finger 7" Record 1988 Ajax USD $16.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 Tangle 1989 USD $25.00 Buy It Now 17 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 The Funeral Pudding 1994 Ajax USD $25.00 Buy It Now 17 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Tangle - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $35.49 Buy It Now 17 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Tangle - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $22.95 Buy It Now 17 days
I Hope It Lands by Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 (CD, Apr-1996, The... USD $7.40 Buy It Now 17 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 -... - Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 CD T8VG USD $20.49 Buy It Now 17 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 - Wormed By Leonard [New CD] USD $14.96 Buy It Now 18 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 - Wormed By Leonard [New CD] USD $15.90 Buy It Now 18 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Strangers From Universe - CD - *Excellent* USD $31.95 Buy It Now 18 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 mother of all saints DOUBLE LP EX+/VG OLE 043-1 USD $63.02 Buy It Now 18 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 mother of all saints DOUBLE LP EX+/VG OLE 043-1 USD $40.64 Buy It Now 18 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Mother Of All Saints - CD - **Excellent** USD $15.49 Buy It Now 19 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Strangers From Universe - CD - SEALED/NEW USD $56.95 Buy It Now 19 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Wormed By Leonard (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.96 Buy It Now 20 days
Wormed, By Leonard by Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 (CD, 1995, Thwart) USD $9.00 Buy It Now 21 days
Mother of All Saints by Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 (CD, Nov-1992, Matador USD $11.25 Buy It Now 21 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Strangers From Universe CD 1994 Matador USD $19.99 Buy It Now 24 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Funeral Pudding - CD USD $22.95 Buy It Now 24 days
Wormed By Leonard Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 Audio CD USD $25.58 Buy It Now 25 days
THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 - Wormed By Leonard - CD - *Mint Condition* USD $12.95 Buy It Now 26 days
thinking fellers union local 282 i hope it lands cd promo USD $9.99 Buy It Now 28 days
Strangers from the Universe by Thinking Fellers Union Local #282 (CD, 1994) USD $22.95 Buy It Now 29 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - I Hope It Lands (CD Used Like New) USD $13.13 Buy It Now 29 days
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 : Admonishing the Bishops CD USD $8.99 Buy It Now 29 days

More places to buy THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 music online Buy THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 2 ratings
Wormed By Leonard
1988
3.05 | 3 ratings
Tangle
1989
3.91 | 4 ratings
Lovelyville
1991
4.44 | 7 ratings
Mother Of All Saints
1992
4.77 | 10 ratings
Strangers From The Universe
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
Porcelain Entertainments
1995
4.91 | 4 ratings
I Hope It Lands
1996
3.95 | 3 ratings
Bob Dinners And Larry Noodles Present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity Avalanche
2001

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
TFUL282
1995

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 4 ratings
Admonishing The Bishops
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Funeral Pudding
1993

THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Wormed By Leonard by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.91 | 2 ratings

BUY
Wormed By Leonard
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mortte

4 stars I believe progarchives is the only place that calls Thinking Fellers RIO/Avant-prog, although I think it's probably the only category it fits here. Mostly this great band is called Indie Rock, but it's really far away from for example Nirvana or Soundgarden just because bands really experimental nature. Comparing it to Sonic Youth is not unfair, although Thinking Fellers has much more rhythmic complexity than SY. Anyway band has been quite unknown specially in the North-Europe, although it made tours in the Middle Europe in the mid nineties. When looking ratings here, this band also seems to be quite unknown also with proglisteners. I am really glad my US- friend recommended band to me some years ago.

It's really odd they released this first album in a cassette-only by themselves in a time, when there was still independent companies like SST. Also it's odd Matador didn't release this as an album later, when they become at least popular in US indie music listeners, instead the band released it again as 2LP and CD adding there bonus material. Anyway it's really great they did it, the band was really great already in the beginning! There are not studio information about this album, but I think sounds are quite great in this, also this album hasn't got as much lo-fi stuff as some their later albums.

When there are many tracks, I review album as the 2LP version on each sides. First side mostly includes Beefheart-style stuff with punk attitude. Beautiful exception of this is 'Hell Rules', although it's name it's made with two guitars and bass and some really interesting percussion and has just very beautiful melodic singing. Second side continuing quite the same style, but there are also three very great country-punk songs that reminds a lot Meat Puppets -stuff. Specially instrumental 'Out In the Kitchen' is just great, reminding some Link Wray old stuff. Third side is the most experimental side. Many tracks are instrumental, but there is also really great vocal track 'Get Off My House' that reminds little bit Zappa's Uncle Meat -time music. Last side is bonus side and the most confusing in this album. Songs are recorded between 1986-1989. When I first time heard their 'doom'-version from the Carpenters 'Superstar', I didn't know what to think. On my last listening it worked some very weird way.

Although the mess in last side could put this album into three stars, the original entity is just so great that I have to give this four. This is highly recommended all the Beefheart fans that has nothing against punk aesthetic. I hope this band (and also it's soul mate Trumans Water) will not go into oblivion. This album is quite good starter, if this review woke your interest, but of course it hasn't got yet the full greatness of their masterpiece 'Strangers From the Universe'.

 Admonishing The Bishops by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1993
3.91 | 4 ratings

BUY
Admonishing The Bishops
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sadly, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 hasn't put out any new releases since 2001. I have hardly even heard of them. I always thought they were just another alternative rock group. But, I got this EP after hearing that they were an Avant-Prog band, which was a surprise to me in and of itself. I am always looking for new stuff and I always seem to be attracted to music that is original and daring. I have found a lot of great bands that way. And this is one of them.

I have to say that I haven't heard much by them before I played this EP for the first time. There are only 4 songs on here, so I figured I wouldn't be out much if I didn't like them. When the album finished, all I wanted was to hear more. Now I wish this EP was longer than it is, and because of this EP, I will be looking into their music a lot more.

It starts off with the longest track at over 6 minutes, and initially, it starts with a typical guitar strum/riff that sounds Alternative. This lasts for a total of two bars. Suddenly, dissonance comes in and it makes your ears immediately perk up. It only gets better when the vocals start, totally not the norm. The song continues with interchanging instrumental breaks and vocals. it almost sounds like it is going to go into post rock territory, but then it doesn't. There is a great bass riff, then guitars crash in, sounding like they are being tortured, but not to the point of being obnoxious. As it continues, you know you are in different territory and totally atypical. Dissonance and melodic at the same time.

Next up is "Undertaker" which starts out with two guitars totally in sync and totally out of tune with each other. This turns into Primus style chaos as other instruments join in. But the drums sound like something out of the Violent Femmes catalogue. And the voice is incredible when he does the falsetto thing totally out of nowhere. The guitar break is excellent. The chaos ensues. "Million Dollars" is more mellow, and the singing is underwhelming, but that is what makes this track so great. You know, the same way that Velvet Underground was so intriguing. But then out of nowhere, a strung out guitar riff that just doesn't belong, yet it really does. The harmonies also sound like they were half-baked, which is so awesome. It's all kind of funny but serious at the same time.

The last track is "Father". This starts out really strange and out there, the singing is totally off like it's supposed to be. I thought this was just a little over the top in weirdness when I first heard it, but now I really appreciate it. Then there is a mid- tempo standard rhythm going on which makes absolutely no sense with anything else. Before that wears itself out, things slow down a bit and there are some really dissonant and cool harmonies. Then what sounds like a banjo comes out of nowhere.

I know all of this sounds strange, but it is so great. It is considered Noise Rock or Avant Prog. I don't know about the noise part, at least on this EP, but there are definitely some "not-normal" harmonies and "way-out-there" things going on here. Nothing, except for the first few seconds, is normal about this. Yet it is a lot more listenable than you might think. This is one EP and one band that definitely needs to be investigated. A good way to try them out is through an EP, then you are not out much if you don't like it. But, it's that kind of practice that has helped me find some great talent, like this band, hat I want to hear more from. It's a shame they haven't done a lot lately. 4 stars, and it would have probably been 5 stars if it wasn't so short.

 Mother Of All Saints by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.44 | 7 ratings

BUY
Mother Of All Saints
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Another rocker from your Local 282, this one really sets a wide scope for the band and their music. A lot of this reminds me of Minutemen, and I would go as far to say that what the band is doing here is their quirky, avant garde take on the lighter side of post hardcore. The band also goes for less-is-more here, further cementing the comparison, and opening the door for a new type of genius from the Thinking Fellers. "Gentleman's Lament", "Catcher", and "Hive" are the best tracks. I especially loved "Hive", sounding like a rough, proggy relic from the early glory days of alt rock, while the early tracks are what particularly egg D. Boon and friends. The music here isn't so fun fun fun as their usual wonderful output, but it is as good and complex as ever, a whole new direction. Wonderfully played on all counts, very unique, an excellent and highly recommended record.
 Strangers From The Universe by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.77 | 10 ratings

BUY
Strangers From The Universe
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars A crazed, fun, rocking record from your Local 282. Here, we have a very rock oriented oddity, with the guitars and mandolin sometimes being made to sound like sitar as well. And of course, as quirky and hilarious as ever with the lyrics and singing. "My Pal The Tortoise" and "February" particularly stick out from the weird, euphoric soundscape. In fact, "February" has to stand as the best track, with the sitar sounding mandolin and the ever rocky guitar playing to their fullest amongst complex craziness and a bit of noise. "Socket" and "Pull My Pants Up Tight" are also stellar, the latter being a calmer, quieter respite. And "Cup of Dreams" has an intro that is either eighty years old, or some dour electronics, before some more great rock-via-sitar. All of this is performed brilliantly by our band, especially Hageman pulling off the sitar-out-of-mandolin playing. Very energetic and enjoyable, and as odd as can be expected from a quirky avant prog band with way too much skill and time. Highly recommended, just excellent.
 I Hope It Lands by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.91 | 4 ratings

BUY
I Hope It Lands
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Your Local 282 is a fabulous avant prog band, and this chemistry experiment is an excellent confirmation of their quality. Over the course of the record, we cover industrial, raga rock, hard rock, and sometimes the just plain weird. The singing is great, and the lyrics are surreal and sometimes downright hilarious. The hard rock will range from the loud and harsh to something out of the garage rock revival to neat lulls. The drums are spectacular, and add much to the band's style. Horns and gongs figure at times. This band, at least here, is The White Stripes gone wonderfully experimental and just plain mental. "I Hope It Lands" is just plain some of the best rock in years on top of being some of the best avant prog in years. And to the band, I have to say: It's all good. It landed. And with a boom.
 Bob Dinners And Larry Noodles Present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity Avalanche by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.95 | 3 ratings

BUY
Bob Dinners And Larry Noodles Present Tubby Turdner's Celebrity Avalanche
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Between 1988's Worned By Leonard and 1996's I Hope it Lands, TFUL282 were quite productive, putting out about an album a year. Though they never put out a bad record, I had been somewhat disappointed by Lands, and when the band failed to put anything else out for the next few years I sadly accepted that maybe they'd hit their wall and moved on. So I was pleasantly surprised when this bizarrely titled album appeared out of nowhere in 2001, and exceeded my expectations, even considering their usual high level of quality.

As a quick introduction for those unfamiliar with this band, they were a five-piece band from the 1990s that seemed a part of the "indie" or "college rock" scene, but were so original and avant-garde oriented that they really didn't sit well in anyone's company, save maybe extreme weirdos like the Sun City Girls (with whom they occasionally toured). Still, they're essentially a rock band, and if you like guitars you're in for a treat, because they have three of them, acting independently but together, creating strange interlocking riffs and dissonant chords that they somehow turn into hooks. They also tended to play a lot of additional random instruments like violins and trumpets and stuff. They all composed together, probably just sitting in a room together and saying, "let's see what it sounds like if we do this".

Back to the album at hand. It's pretty amazing, in that they managed to combine the virtues of their two best albums (Mother of All Saints and Strangers from the Universe) into a single album: the mad whimsy of the former paired with the clear recording and detailed arrangements of the latter. In fact, the first three songs, "Another Clip", "Sno Cone", and "Holy Ghost" are as gripping and complex as anything they've ever done. If the album had kept up this level of invention, it could have easily been their best album. All three are highly melodic, yet incorporate abrupt changes in mood and tempo, and make the most of the three guitars, squeezing several different sounds apiece out of them, crafting complex 3-6 minute progressive mini-epics. Unfortunately, the remainder of the album never quite hits those heights again, although there aren't any true duds on here either. "Everything's Impossible" is a delicate piece with chiming guitars and piano and gentle drum rolls. "You in a Movie" has interesting bits but suffers from repetition, "In the Stars I Can Sizzle Like a Battery" is nearly undone by an annoying vocal effect, but is a cool (albeit in a weird way) song apart from that. "El Cerrito" fleshes out a decent song first presented on Mother of All Saints. The album finishes strong with "The Barker", a multifaceted rocker like the opening cuts, and "He Keeps Himself Fed", a sludgy river of harmonized guitar fuzz, a pretty new guitar effect for them (also heard briefly in "You in a Movie"), before giving way to a lengthy, quiet closing section ending the album on a mysterious note.

Unfortunately, this ended up being their final album, but it ends their career on a high note. Not consistent across the board, but very well recorded, and featuring some of their strongest material. Avant rock fans who haven't heard them should give them a try, and this album wouldn't be a bad place to start - then move backwards.

 Tangle by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.05 | 3 ratings

BUY
Tangle
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

3 stars The Thinking Fellers second album is an improvement over the sprawling, unfocused debut album, but the band's best days were still ahead. Here, there is a marked increase in the aggressiveness of their playing, taking fuller advantage of the Beefheartian possibilities a three-guitar front line provides. However, there are still too many songs that just aren't that memorable. Knowing the dizzy heights of creative madness this band would soon reach with their next three full length albums, I can't award this album more than three stars. But at its best, this album has moments you won't soon forget.

To begin with, "Sister Hell" is a fantastic opener, with its sinister yet comical shuffling riff and really cool shouted chorus. "Change Your Mind", my favorite track here, also pushes some funny buttons. The main section of the song resembles one of Beefheart's more normal instrumentals (e.g. Semi-Multicolored Caucasian), with a light, almost indifferent shuffle, accompanied by plaintively sung nonsense lyrics. And then the music stops suddenly, interrupted by a couple of unaccompanied lines of screamed lyrics that have me rolling on the floor every time. The song then enters another wacky (different) shuffle section, interrupted again by more screamed lyrics. DC al Coda, and we're done. One of the most bizarrely delightful wack jobs in their discography.

The remainder of the songs are good too, just not the creative melodic powerhouses that I'm accustomed to hearing from this band. They were still developing their writing skills at this point, though their ensemble sound is already gelling into something really original and exciting.

 Strangers From The Universe by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.77 | 10 ratings

BUY
Strangers From The Universe
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

5 stars For a band notorious for wild flights of fancy and spontaneous bursts of inspiration, this album is uncharacteristically focused, intricately detailed, and consistently incredible. They have built on the successes of their prior album, Mother of All Saints, although the two albums sound worlds apart. Where MOAS was murky, druggy, and slightly mad, this album is clear as a bell, confident, and passionate. The songs are just as challenging, if not more so, and reveal new depths to their songwriting craft.

"My Pal the Tortoise" kicks things off with a friendly quirky pop vibe, building the song out of a series of dissonant guitar licks and a comical vocal. "Socket" brings out the twisted Magic Band guitar mazes, a variety of guitar sounds, and a rather surprising instrumental middle section. "Hundreds of Years" is a gentle tapestry of clean guitar lines supporting a tender vocal, but again, jarring surprises lurk within, including a dizzying section of trilling guitars giving the sensation of bees buzzing around. "Guillotine" is a droning funeral march, swelling into a thick fog of sound. "February" offers some really fluid guitar runs in an odd yet catchy song. "Cup of Dreams" is a woozy melanchoic shoegaze number with a Mellotron intro and oddly juxtaposing Residents-like vocals throughout. "The Operation" is a completely bizarre piece of creepiness, with several very dissonant clusters working together to make a compelling song. "The Piston and the Shaft" is the most normal song on here, a playfully mellow musing on the topic of sex and lust, with a stirring harmonized chorus that gives me chills. And finally, "Noble Experiment" acts as a lullabye for the human race, ending the album on a gentle yet sinister note.

Each of these songs are creatively written, flawlessly executed, and reveal new details on every listen. It's as perfect as this band got -- even the little instrumental interludes (the "Feller Filler") serve their roles well as little breathers between the uniformly outstanding main songs. Some may miss the psychotic messiness of Mother of All Saints, but I for one am glad the Fellers dropped a little bit of the whimsical craziness to concentrate their offbeat talents into one seamless knockout album. My highest recommendation.

 Lovelyville by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.91 | 4 ratings

BUY
Lovelyville
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Thinking Fellers' third album, this is where the band's eclectic ambition all comes into focus, and provides the template for even greater successes to follow. Songs typically establish an indie-rock riff pattern that you can follow, and then they... do things to it. Three guitars all dive- bombing each other, sending the songs in new directions just as you start to get comfortable. Still, this might be their most accessible album, in terms of what you'd be likely to hear on a college radio station. It's no accident that many of these songs rank among fans' favorites. I'd like to focus on one of them here.

My absolute favorite here, and possibly my favorite TFUL282 song of all, "Sinking Boats". A distant vocal shouted through a megaphone sits atop a thundering rhythm of guitars and drums, playing a simple riff punctuated by little clangy guitar licks. Two verses of this, then WHOA! the song is somewhere else entirely, a quiet foreboding section of throbbing bass and plucked guitar notes. A few measures of this, and then a loud, dissonant riff (probably handled by at least 2 guitars playing different things) comes in. This pattern is repeated a couple of more times, the song stops dead, and then back into the thundering rhythms of the first song before coming to an abrupt end. Total time, just under 5 minutes.

I'm not a bad writer by any means, but that last paragraph just doesn't describe the experience that well. It's hard to put into words. I think the experience can be summed up better by two thoughts that some to mind: "How do they make guitars sound like that?" and "What possessed them to write that?"

The album has several similarly "whoa" tracks, but also contains its fair share of "Feller Filler", little teeny random snippets of rehearsal tapes usually highlighting a unique sound they happened upon. These are fairly disposable, but they do give their albums their own special character. There's also a sequence of extra non-LP tracks at the end (collectively called "The Crowded Diaper", a name I absolutely love), which are basically throwaways.

My third favorite Fellers album, some of their finest music and the first full flowering of their genius.

 Mother Of All Saints by THINKING FELLERS UNION LOCAL 282 album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.44 | 7 ratings

BUY
Mother Of All Saints
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars This utterly unique band from San Francisco put out a nice collection of albums in the 1990s, forming a strange collision of Sonic Youth guitar experimentation, The Residents' affinity for weird sounds and voices, and the gnarly multi-guitar counterpoint of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. The band sports a three-guitar front line, any one of whom could pick up a mandolin, banjo, trumpet, kazoo, what have you, at any time. Each of the five band members contributes significantly to the writing and singing, though guitarists Brian Hageman and Mark Davies seem to take the lead vocal the majority of the time.

This is their fourth full-length album, and this is the band at their peak, or close to it. Over the course of their career as a band, they honed a concept that I will call Fellers' Law of Hook Dynamics: "Anything can be a hook if you repeat it enough times." This is similar to the Trout Mask Replica aesthetic, but the Thinking Fellers turn these little noise licks and atonal soundbites into bona-fide post-punk rock songs that are unique, memorable, and yes, pretty rockin' too.

This is probably the band's most sprawling, messy album, the most "damaged" and "out there" they ever got. As a result, as stunning as this album is, I cannot award it five stars because the sprawling nature of it does drag it down just a little bit. HOWEVER, the first 40 or so minutes of the album (tracks 1-12) undeniably contains the best sequence of songs this band ever wrote. "Gentleman's Lament" has the rollicking forward momentum of an avalanche of whirring guitars and drums, complemented by some very melodic, almost manic vocals. "Catcher" offers the same brisk tempo to a darker song. "Hornet's Heart" has a great vocal hook and a woozy vocal, with a pounding rhythm. "Star Trek" is an aggressive riffing instrumental with odd meters. "Hive" is essentially a ballad, with a quiet echoey atmosphere, chiming guitars, and a lovely vocal about bees by Mark Davies. "Tell Me" is a favorite of mine, beginning fairly normally, but erupting unexpectedly into a middle section of pure noise, then into a furious rifferama at the end. This section of the album closes with "Infection", a late-night fuzzy drone number with quietly chugging acoustic guitar and buzzing violin, which eventually fades away, feeling like the conclusion to the best Velvet Underground album that never was......

But you're not off the hook yet. What follows is what is commonly known among fans as "Feller Filler". Feller Filler occurs on each of their albums, usually short little interludes taken from lo-fi rehearsal jams. Fans are pretty unanimous in the opinion that these little pieces are by no means their best works, but they do seem to give their albums their unique character, and they give the listener a glimpse into the creative process - the trial and error that eventually results in the wonderful fully developed pieces. On a typical album, there will be a few of these numbers scattered across the album. On this album, there are about 5 relatively lengthy ones right in a row, taking up about 15 minutes. This effectively takes the album abruptly out of avant-rock bliss and straight into an alternate universe of sinister noise, like a long unused jam from the Trout Mask Replica sessions or something.

The album concludes with a rather quiet, cerebral group of songs that maintain the random, focus-less mood of the prior section, but with smoother pieces. "Raymond H", the closest thing to an classic prog number on the album, sits uneasily among this group, with prominent banjo giving it a Camper Van Beethoven-in-a-prog-mood kind of sound. The other pieces, like "Cistern", "1" Tall", and "El Cerrito" are all brooding, ominous, and just a bit confused.

"Mother of All Saints" is a "trip" record, a strange linear trip with two sudden changes in trajectory. It's a long album, and it's long forays into weirdness rob it just a wee bit of its overall consistency, but in the end this album undeniably ranks up there with their best, in a catalog that has very few low spots.

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives