Throwing aside their tradition of playing extremely extended tracks (sometimes lasting more than 20-to-30 minutes or so), Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. appear straight from the mind of Miles Davis on their aptly named Son of a Bitches Brew and get down over 7 cuts.
Or so I’m told — legend has it that after one legendary headache, this motley space rock crew emerged from Davis’s own skull with Son of a Bitches Brew in hand (I couldn’t make it throughout this review without a stab at a Miles Davis joke). At least it sounds that way. Nobody could make aimless noise that wanders with such authority without one of the kings of fusion approving it, and AMT&TMPUFO seriously turn jazz fusion in every direction on this disc.
Although, I’m selling the group short, too. Aimless noise is a bit unfair — the opening, title cut yields funky, key-driven grooves, even if it takes some time to see those grooves unfold. There’s a strange, self-contained vibe throughout the entire disc, and “Son of a Bitches Brew” sets the scene with steady synth flares as the drums pick up the pace. Constantly fluctuating synthetic noises are a must (and those things wheel in and out of the forthcoming tracks to remind you, the listener, that this sucker was recorded in outer space. Soundproofing space studios is extremely expensive). There’s an obnoxious voice that announces “Son of a Bitches Brew” like a monster truck rally. Awesome.
“Helen Buddha; Miss Condom X” trades in the energy of the first cut for sparse flares that move into otherworldly fuzz exercises as the track matures. On the whole, several of the cuts on Son of a Bitches Brew degrade into disgusting, saturated fuzz exercises, and those nasty sequences are absolutely the parts I liked best. AMT&TMPUFO bottle up severe energy throughout these proceedings, and they absolutely wail to bring the unrestrained noise to numerous apexes.
Complete breakdowns, as in “Water Babies Kill Kill Kill,” make this disc more enjoyable with each listen. Those breakdowns also provide good counterarguments to my previous claim about aimless noise. Instruments shift at the drop of a hat. Moods change time and time again. Each track follows suit, obliging the extreme energy of the proceedings and ultimately wailing as much as possible in relatively (comparatively?) short time frame of this album.
One might not see beyond the clutter of instruments (I counted 18 distinct pieces listed in the credits, distributed among 8 players) and sounds throughout this disc. Yet, this is space rock fusion; pure free jazz; diverse world music spread across no particular genre. Son of a Bitches Brew is as excessive as it is creative, and between their subdued (surprising) grooves, sparse flares, and degenerative wanking, this collective cover impressive territory.