Thursday, May 19, 2016

Brand X - 1982 - Is There Anything About

Brand X 
Is There Anything About

01. Ipanaemia (4:30)
02. A Longer April (7:00)
03. Tmiu-Atga (5:07)
04. Swan Song (5:30)
05. Is There Anything About? (7:52)
06. Modern, Noisy, and Effective (3:56)

- Phil Collins / drums and concussion (1-3)
- Percy Jones / bass (5)
- John Giblin / bass, Whitbread, vocal (1-4,6)
- Robin Lumley / keyboards and vocal
- Peter Robinson / keyboards (6)
- John Goodsall / guitar (1-5)
- Raf Ravenscroft / saxophone (2)
- Stephen Short / syndrums and vocal (4)

Brand X has released some of the best fusion stuff ever. That said, this album, as stated in earlier reviews, sounds like some of the left-overs or outakes from "Do They Hurt", which in itself sounded like the left-overs from "Product". Not sure I understand slamming Phil Collins for HIS contributions, as Robin Lumley is the one who compiled this package -- it's almost a Lumley solo album with session players.
There are, however, a few bits that sound good, primarily the title track. "Is There Anything About" (the tune) is a great little jam, that almost sounds like it could have been a live track from "Livestock". Not a lot of substance, but it just cooks along, and contains just enough of that Brand X spontaneity and humor that the earlier material has.

"Ipanaemia" has a bit of a groove, and might have fit nicely on the 12" B-side of "Soho".

"A Longer April" is just a band version of "April" from "Product" with guest Ravenscroft on sax; personally I like the shorter April more.

"Swan Song" may have been more appropriately titled "Modern, Noisy and Effective", which in itself is an instrumental reworking of "Soho", utilizing the backing track from that song (but not nearly as good a melody).

The one track that needed not ever be released is "TMIU-ATGA" ("They're making it up as they go along"), which is one of the worst tunes I think I've EVER heard by ANY band (and CALLING it a tune at all is generous).

This album IS available on CD, although it is definitely NOT the release to introduce new listeners to the band. Completists might be pleasantly surprised that there IS SOMETHING ELSE about.

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