- アーティスト:King Crimson
- 発売日: 2006/05/23
- メディア: CD
There IS a pattern there. And of course: “Earthbound” fits within the Crimson canon like the Joker in a deck of playing cards, like the Fool in Tarot, like a hermaphrodite next to a man and woman coupled and like Harpo within the Marx Brothers. It just DOESN’T FIT into any neat pigeonholes. It’s not progressive rock. It’s not heavy metal. It’s certainly not soul, either (Although Boz, heh, tries.) It barely even sounds like a Crimson album -- it’s more like a power trio with sax going off the rails over the nearest cliff.
So what DOES “Earthbound” sound like?
It’s the sound of dying in a pit of noise forever, that’s what it is.
“Earthbound” is a rare instance of King Crimson as an uncontrolled, non-reared in wall of noise forsaking their previous stance of finessed dynamics into a loud and flattening volume blur out, spurred on by Burrell’s faux-vox and Wallace’s insistence to beat the heads outta his bass drums while Mel Collins blares his gonads through parp-ola alto, soprano and baritone saxophones. And Fripp can do nothing but overdrive the volume pedal on his customised Frizzbox and just pray it comes together before the next chorus. But he’s surrounded by musicians gate crashing all of Fripp’s diametrically opposed precisions and ‘workings-at-the-structure-from-within’s, as he desperately attempt to tether it all together by blasting out in a fashion even more wayward than his raving cohorts.
A perfect example is “21st Century Schizoid Man.” It is all of the above. It opens with a clang of piercing high hats and an “Oi!” from a non-Fripp member of the band, and what cuts loose for the better part of 13 minutes is by far the most reckless version of their psychotically edged masterpiece. After you’ve heard it, your only recollections will be your mother, your name, Ian Wallace’s grossly over recorded bass drum booting and high hat crashes and Fripp’s brilliant pre-Sky Saw erratic and note flurry-clustering solo. It’s so careless, so raw, so “Metallic K.O.”, it’s unbelievable.
Boz starts scatting up a storm in the follow-up improvisational “Peoria,” and it’s so loud that when he does, all other sounds momentarily cut out, as they do on side two’s other improv, “Earthbound.” But “The Sailor’s Tale” fades in mid-blow, and the usual mellotron-in-the-USA antics ensue as the difference in voltage makes the instrument drop a good half octave causing player Mel Collins to just vamp it up for the fuck of it, while getting those massed banks of nimbus clouds assembled overhead, just in time for an ear-piercing, creaky solo from Fripp. It all fades on a drum solo. Side two sees the band tackle (or rather, get tackled by) a near fatal attempt of their 1970 single B-side, “Groon.” What was once a light country ramble disguised as a post-Django Reinhardt filigree piece is now rendered into a stupid, stomping double team of oxen drunkingly plowing through not a china shop, but an entire warehouse of Wedgwood overstock. Which is by turns a knee-slapper deluxe but also raises a gigantic question mark as to its inclusion here. Suddenly, all laughter stops with Hunter MacDonald’s shocking VCS3 entry midway into the meandering drum solo as it tears in with full shrieking thunder, effecting half the drums into pitch controlled flares that rocket and revolve at high volume like boulders in a cement mixer miked with full echo. The VCS3’s pan pot starts oscillating the whole thing side to side and up and down until even the high hat is doing somersaults. While this is still occurring, Collins cuts in with free form blowing, followed by Fripp. After MacDonald gleefully twisted VCS3 assault fades, all that is left is the briefest of unaccompanied requiems from Fripp, at full volume through his customised Frizzbox.
You can’t beat the start of Earthbound: a scorched-earth rendition of prog’s Big Bang, “21st Century Schizoid Man” (you know, the song Kanye West sampled for “Power”). This 11-plus-minute bad boy is unbelievably heavy, and electrocuted by vocals so distorted they sound as if they’re being run through an air-conditioner fan. King Crimson whip this warhorse into the fiercest shape it’s ever been in. Bassist Boz Burrell is so much more of a beast on the mic than was Greg Lake on In The Court Of The Crimson King, and the notorious instrumental breakdown is longer and more brutal and chaotic than that in the 7-minute-plus original. Saxophonist Mel Collins blows articulate fireballs while Fripp shreds at peak fury. They take what was already one of rock’s most spasmodically dynamic and explosive numbers and nuclear bomb it further. CATHARSIS, AHOY!
“Peoria,” by contrast, is funky, straightforward rock with a slurring, alpha-male sax solo. It’s the closest King Crimson ever have come to Grand Funk Railroad or Rare Earth. (You may think that’s a diss, but you’d be wrong.) The instrumental freak-rock of controlled madness that is “The Sailor’s Tale” diverges from the version on Island in that it’s rougher and vocal-free. “Earthbound” flaunts an incredibly funky 40-second open break by Ian Wallace at its beginning that’s nearly as heavy as Bev Bevan’s beats in the Move’s “Feel Too Good.” Burrell grunts like a boar in heat, as if he’s auditioning for Bad Company, but the groove is so lubricious, one can (almost) forgive him. The album closes with “Groon,” a loose quarter-hour jam that encompasses contemplative spiritual jazz, rugged jazz-rock, a thuggish, rumbling drum solo, and Pete Sinfield filtering Wallace’s drums through a VC3S to cause zonked-to-hell electronic tumult that foreshadows mid-’90s IDM. Holy shit, what a bizarre climax!
In the Court of the Crimson King
- アーティスト:King Crimson
- 発売日: 2005/02/22
- メディア: CD
「King Crimson - Earthbound」http://rockcollector.blog31.fc2.com/blog-entry-38.html
「KING CRIMSON - Earthbound」https://ameblo.jp/heretic880703/entry-12585959669.html
*1:Mentioned in https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20060929/1159497317 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20060930/1159584533 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20091015/1255630063 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20101004/1286215386 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/20171016/1508130214
*3:See eg. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthbound_(King_Crimson_album)