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Artist: Don Caballero
Label: Touch & Go Records
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release: Oct 2000   My Rating: 0
Duration: 42:32
Summary: The music on "American Don" unfurls slowly, revealing intricate designs on its petals of sound. It's a bit of a change from the Pittsburgh-based band's earlier albums, which worked in the same vein but with less delicacy. Now Don Caballero's sound boasts a dynamic similar to King Crimson's work from the late '70s and early '80s; guitarist Ian William's four- to eight-note patterns are a direct ode to guru Robert Fripp. The similarities to the famous prog-rock band end there. Don Caballero's quirkiness shows through in the band's tongue-in-cheek song titles ("The Peter Criss Jazz," "You Drink a Lot of Coffee for a Teenager") and drummer Damon Che's aerobic, acrobatic skin pounding. The final product is a lush set of swirl that ebbs, flows, and spins in place à la Philip Glass. The slightly jazzy but mostly trance-like collection overcomes its limitations and is highly recommended. "--Jason Josephes"

Artist: Don Caballero
Label: Touch & Go Records
Genre: Rock
Release: Jan 2000   My Rating: 0
Duration: 47:59
Summary: Simply put, there is not, nor will there ever be, anything quite like this band.

What amazes me most is, at the level these musicians seem to be, both individually and collectively, how they don't waste a note wanking their egos on this entire album.

For this type of music (which is pretty scant), I'm torn between this one, Don Cab's What Burns Never Returns, and Battles' B EP. This one is the most raw and primal of the three, which gives it a little edge.

Watch for Don Caballero's (reunion) album, World Class Listening Problem, on May 16.

Artist: Don Caballero
Label: Touch & Go Records
Genre: Drum & Bass
Release: Oct 1993   My Rating: 0
Duration: 35:51
Summary: Don Caballero are one of the greatest bands of the last twenty years. They are also among the very few acts out there that play entirely instrumental music without ever getting boring. A somewhat simplified description of their sound would be Helmet meets Sonic Youth.

Recorded by Steve Albini, this debut album from the early 90's contains the band's most "conventional" song structures. This means that (although there are no vocals) the songs generally have verse/chorus structures and even occasional bridges. Although the band obviously has a very goofy sense of humor - just look at the song titles - make no mistake, these guys are ferocious musicians. Songs like "Nicked and Liqued" feature great stutter-beat grooves straight out of Helmet's playbook, while the soft, creepy "Subdued Confections" shows the band understood restraint.

The bass is a tad low in the mix for my taste, but overall the sound is astonishing. Two Les Pauls trade weird lines and riffs, the bass plods along underneath, and what grabs you the most is Damon Che, my favorite drummer of the modern age. The drums are very much the lead instrument in this band; although there are not "solos" per se, the insane stuff this guy plays throughout the songs will have you picking your jaw up off the floor.

It's heavy, it's complex, it's weirdly melodic, and it's unique. I have never heard another band like this. Ever since I first heard this album when it came out, I have been a die-hard Don Cab fan. Listen to it once and you'll never hear music the same way again.

Artist: Don Caballero
Label: Touch & Go Records
Genre: Instrumental
Release: Jan 1999   My Rating: 0
Duration: 24:36
Summary: yes, this is, by far, the greatest instrumental rock record of all time. It has something for everyone-unparalleled heaviness, a touching sense of melody, and precise mathematical equations. this record is a masterpiece, with not a dull moment throughout. the drummer, in case you havent heard, is incredible, a literal octopus encased by a wall of percussion. the musicians of don cab change their moods every few minutes or so, an aspect of themselves which is completely evident in the music they write. i cant stress it enough, this album is one of my favorites of all time, i hope you pick this up and experience the progressive phenomenon that is DON CABALLERO.

Artist: Don Caballero
Label: Touch & Go Records
Genre: Other
Release: Jan 1998   My Rating: 0
Duration: 30:57
Summary: but realizing that it doesn't matter.

I'm just going to add to the hyperbole here and write that What Burns...

is one of the best "rock" albums I have ever heard or ever will hear. Simply otherworldly, as if aliens heard snippets of earthly music on their way through the interstellar spaces and decided to make something in response to the fragments they captured.

Be warned though, if you're not prepared to interact with the music, you'll be in for some frustration: this is not an album that gives up its secrets willingly or easily.

The prototypical Don Cab elements are here, tapped inerlocking guitars, rock solid bass, and fluid/spastic drumming, but they have evolved. Williams and Banfield play more fragile, shimmering lines here, reminiscent of The Belew/Fripp sound in 8o's King Crimson, and as if they are teasing out the history of rock licks through some alien filtering process. Pat Morris locks in with Damon Che more frequently, but does get to play some fat, funky(?)patterns. Damon Che is the octopus, but his sound is drier, focused, and more integrated than in previous efforts.

Album opener "Don Cab 3" starts out with the same drum line that ends II and rides it into an epic that shifts from abstract soundscape to bass heavy groovefest. Along with "Slice where you live like pie", and "The world in perforated lines", easily the album's highlights. Keep in mind, that is a relative statement, as the entire album is like a hologram, where the whole can be teased out of any portion, and you may find yourself loving something completely different the next time you hear it.

"June is finally here" is probably as close to a straightforward song on the album, riding alternating swaths of dissonance and beauty to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion, sounding like every summer you've ever run through, wishing it would never end.

So, in conclusion, buy this album, but only if you've heard For respect or II. Going into this album without reference might turn you off to its charms, and that would be a tragedy.

Artist: Don Caballero
Label: Relapse
Genre: Alternative & Punk
Release: Jan 2006   My Rating: 0
Duration: 45:08
Summary: The legendary DON CABALLERO has re-emerged! Inarguably one of the most celebrated, influential and innovative bands in recent times, DON CABALLERO is the vanguard of progressive, instrumental music. With World Class Listening Problem, its first full-length album in almost 5 years, "DON CAB" proves once again that they are head and shoulders above their peers. The bands powerful, percussive-heavy sonic advance is more dense, more expansive, and burns with a newfound urgency. World Class Listening Problem is prime DON CABALLERO and an indispensable addition to the illustrious "DON CAB" canon.