Skuldedog - The Spirit of Music (Shroom Productions) P.O. Box 130475 Houston, TX 77219-0475, USA Phone: 415 327-6234 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cyberhome: http://www.shroomangel.com Skuldedog combines the spiritual, kaleidoscope vision of Mahavishnu Orchestra with the greasy, Southern blues-rock attitude of Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet. Recorded over a seven year period in Wheeling, W.Va., The Spirit of Music contains seven songs by this power trio, recorded with two different rhythm sections.
Textured with gently alighting flute and conch shell drones, Skuldedog is stock 70s power trio, heavy blues-rock, with unoriginal playing and songwriting. The transition from the psychedelic passage opening "Invocation/Trust One Hero" to the rock riffing is very abrupt, almost as though they had been spliced together. The juxtaposition sounds forced as the sections in these two different styles don't seem to share a commonality. The melding improves in later songs such as "Inner Calling Part One" and "Khundalini Shuffle," as the band explores within the power trio format rather than with overdubbed textures, but still sounds forced.
The sound production is muddy with indistinct separation between the instruments, which does give The Spirit of Music a more raw, live feel, and a reminiscence through the lower sound quality, whether intentional or not, to the 70s feel of the music.
Fans of 70s spiritual jam rock exploration may enjoy Skuldedog's bluesy, Southern stylings as a throwback to that era, and a unique Southern approach on that style, but listeners without a particular attachment to that time and vision may not be willing to suffer the mediocre writing and poor production.
Reviewed by Scott Andrews [sha3u@Virginia.edu]
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