Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Franzlist - Attitude Is Instrumentaldotdot
artworkFranzlist use a jazz fusion rhythm section to launch mostly soaring mindless metal noodling. Much of this is an intellectual exercise in note production. then, occasionally, they drift into something melodic and fluid, and show an interesting artful side. Released in 1990, this all instro metal CD is quite an oddity. So, why review it here? 'Cuz there's a unique reworking of "Pipeline" here called "Pipefunk." Thanks to Moondawg for finding this and burning me a copy.
Picks: Innercourse, Disco Ghetto, Jane Zep, Anti-Jazz, Osmodie Trilogy, Brothers, Fuzzy Worbles, Mexico, Perry, F#, Carnival Of Pets, Pipefunk, Pure Vanilla Extract, Improv I, Improv II

Track by Track Review


Innercourse dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Floating keys and metal funk sensibilities drive this rhythmic track. With Leslie West in mind, and Renaissance precursors lurking in the weeds, Franzlist goes the highbrow noodle route, displaying technique in lieu of melody.

Disco Ghetto dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Inner city funkengrooven, like a post modern Blue Cheer with neither the Marshall stacks or coolness of ugly. Mostly wankin', with some cool feedback.

Jane Zep dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Intellectual jazz bass lines funk under fine drum work and jazz-structured metal noodleage. And the point is...

Anti-Jazz dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

More like "Aunti-Jazz," this slowly funks with gingham complexity and disco cymbalogy. Intermittent guitar wanks interrupt otherwise directionless noodling with occasional flurries of excitement. Sounds like a Ph.D. project.

Osmodie Trilogy dotdotdot
Liquid Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Little birdies tweet, soft guitars float, bongos interestingly enhance fine percussion, and a dramatic and liquid structure emerges. While very intellectual, "Osmodie Trilogy" also expresses emotions and is very listenable. Perhaps it's the drums that make it work, but it is among the most interesting and varied tracks here.

Brothers dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Inner city guitar chops, jazz bass lines, frenzied drums, and an intellectual-mathematical precision emerge to dazzle but not really impress. Lots more flash than substance, and once again, nothing to mistake for a melody.

Fuzzy Worbles dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Great title, but thereafter, just manic noodles in a lukewarm sauce.

Mexico dotdotdot
Floating Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

A breezy floating intro and some tasty damped delayed guitar work plays against interspersed metal soaring to produce an interesting contrast. It might be on the outskirts of Surf Villa, where anything can happen when the waves are breaking and the sun is warm. Much of it doesn't work in the surf genre, yet other parts are clearly influenced and liquid, like maybe Cal Tjader drove past in the rain.

Perry dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Flying V soaring wanktone guitar, mindless noodles looking for a reason, and a manic rhythm section. "Perry" needs to get a job.

F# dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Instrumentals often inspire their titles through the imagery they project. Imagine the song that could only be named for the key it's in. This is it. The guitar work is like a pale imitation of Bill Nelson in his Bebop Deluxe days, but without the melody and charm.

Carnival Of Pets dotdotdot
Horror Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

OK, so it's evil and gloomy. Under a horror scene of slaughter and mayhem, this would be very impressive.

Pipefunk dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

Certainly inspired by Agent Orange, this dark and evil recording of the Chantays' classic is big and ultra mean. While a little contrived, it's also thick and inventive, and very original in any aspects. Very interesting if only for it's uniqueness.

Pure Vanilla Extract dotdotdot
Liquid Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

The taste of "Pure Vanilla Extract" doesn't inspire a sound like this, not unless you inject it directly into your heart with a water hose. Lots of darkness and gloom, and a pompous structure, though there are some interesting almost liquid moments with interesting guitar effects and writing.

Improv I dotdot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

If you thought the rest of these tracks were unstructured and sounding improvised, then you'll expect "Improv I" to be even more so. Yes and no. Oh, yes, it's mostly unstructured improv, but no, it's not as noodly and contrived. So, it gets a "D" instead of an "F."

Improv II dot
Metal Jazz (Instrumental)

Heavier than "Improv I," and way more poser rock, this soars and thunders and searches for a landing pad. Some interesting moments, but mostly just notes on a rope.