LP Edition of 100. Numbered.
After nine critically-hailed cassettes, the free-splooge trio Gross finally hits vinyl. Comprised of saxophonist/bassist David Gross, bassist Andy Crespo, and drummer “Ted”, Gross bellows with low-end bluster and fully-cracked clamor.
True to the cover image, which shows the three in full Muppet drag, there’s humor underlying the instrumental ferocity here. Can’t say I really find the locked grooves that pepper the B-side all that funny, but I can certainly appreciate the idea.
But it’s the music that’s the killing feature here. While there are definite jazz elements present inside the way they construct sound, this reminds me a lot more of some weirdo NYC band that Borbetomagus would have invited to play their annual festival in Nyack back in the ’90s. It has that same sense of lurching while searching for lost forms. That hybridized jazz-not-jazz loudness that crushed so many young eardrums with absolute pleasure.
All that may make it sound a bit archaic, but freedom never goes out of style. And anyone who doesn’t think we need some big jolts of it today is a goddamned jughead. – Byron Coley, 2018