Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. "The Penultimate Galactic Bordello Also the World You Made"
In 2003, Acid Mothers Temple took a short break from their constant flooding of the market to record their last batch of music with departing member Cotton Casino (along with a bunch of other recording) and catch their collective breath after an exhausting few years of constant touring, recording and releasing dozens of records under as many monikers. Well, that is, if you define "a short break" as reissuing two full lengths on vinyl, releasing a new 3xCD EP set (and a single CD collection of all three), two live recordings (one LP, one self released CD) and two split EPs. So yeah, even then, it wasn't really much of a break.
Having reopened their flood gates last year with the phenomenal 'Mantra of Love,' (along with a reissue, live CDR, tour CD, 10" and 7") AMT proceeded to unleash not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR new full length releases in late 2004! And here's the most ridiculous part: one of them is a 4xCD box set of all new recordings!
Somehow, AMT has managed to maintain a rabid fanbase who happily gobble up every ounce of new music any one of them touches (though primarily main man Kawabata Makoto seems to have this Midas Touch). And, I proudly count myself as one of these blind followers. So, a few weeks back, when I opened my mailbox and found 'The Penultimate Galactic Bordello.." waiting for me, I was happy. Very, very happy. It's FOUR CDs! Each one has an hour long (presumably mind altering and transporting) track! Massive!
As soon as I put in the first disc, I heard the expected quiet, slow swell of synthesizers, drums, guitars and distant spacey vocals. This was going well! But slowly, it started going downhill. It was missing something. I was getting bored. And when something like AMTs extended jams get boring, it gets really, really boring. I gave up after a while and gave it a few days, but after I'd tried a few more times like this, I came to grips with the fact that despite its massive length and ambitiousness, this box falls short. Way short.
Disc one begins energetically, with a near-funk guitar progression, laid beneath soloing guitar, soaring synth and crooning male vocals. Nearly halfway through the rhythm takes a break and the synth and guitars spread themselves out and tryyp ambiently. Drums make a return, but die out to let the disc drone to the end. The second disc is a lazy jam with a heavily present and utterly uninspired guitar solo (Kawabata even resorts to referencing "Interstellar Overdrive" early on). Eventually it locks into a pretty heady vibespace, but the miserably failed start makes it impossible to immerse yourself. Disc Three is a bombastic, weird and silly song built around the band asking people their names (for example, Plastic Crimewave gives his name) in between long guitar and synth solos, laughter, tape manipulations, accapella singing, weirdness, etc. Fun, but not worth investing an hour of my life in. The last disc is by far the best. It's a gentle synthesizer and voice tryyp. There's a little bit of clatter, which is nice.
The fact that Cotton is absent on the last (and best) disc is interesting. I'd wondered if the band could get back on its feet after learning to rely so heavily upon her. However, it appears that they'd grown complacent, and only when she was out of the mix could they really achieve the heights they've come to be known for. 3/10 -- Dick Baldwin (25 May, 2005)