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FakeJazz.com, Feb 2001

Rating: 10/12

Some of psychedelia's most enduring opuses were pieced together from
tapes of rehearsals and live recordings. Consider the Grateful Dead's
Anthem of the Sun, Agitation Free's colossal Malesch, The Faust Tapes,
or the numerous volumes crafted from Amon D||l I's Psychedelic
Underground sessions. Since the band evolved from jam sessions
featuring members of Boston's psychedelic-rock elite, it's only
fitting that Abunai! (that's anime-speak for "look out!") should turn
to the tapes for its third album. Round Wound is a collage of studio
jams, in which the band's threads - Kris Thompson's Hawkind-styled
synths, Joe Turner's driven drumming, Dan Parmenter's Funkadelic
basslines, and Brendan Quinn's impressive assortment of acid-stained,
Eastern, and folk-wise guitars - are woven into one most excellent
whole. Tracks crisscross every which way, with instruments layered
over, under, and upside one another for maximum density. Each track
stands as a testament to tapecraft. Riffs are swallowed and skewed by
vortical keyboards and spit out of labyrinthine wormholes. Golden
skeins are spun from discarded ideas. While individual tracks often
pass in the space of several blinks, "Drowning in Light" pulses and
shudders like a dark star collapsing at the album's center, issuing a
thousand psychotropic variations on a vaguely "Paint it Black"-like
theme from its black-hole heart. "Motorcycle Boots" and "Electric
Reynolds" also spin off enough garage riffs and fantastical keyboard
flights to be secondary nuclei. In truth, each of the 21 tracks is
both generated and generator, adding to the galaxies of debris
incorporated into Round Wound's kaleidoscopic cut-and-paste trip. It'
s a wonder that the plastic packaging, cleverly designed to resemble a
packet of guitar strings, can hold it all in.

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