Attention Deficit - The idiot king - 2001


"The idiot king" is the second work of this American trio called Attention Deficit. A perfect name to describe quickly and with just two words, the attitude that the large masses adopt toward the style of music that this group offers. And what does this interesting project do? Well, they just make music of high quality. A record full of fascinating pieces that freely adapts themselves to the forms of the improvisation, the Jazz, RIO and including something the from Crimson style. Its components already have enough experience and do not sail on unknown water. They know very well what they do and their reputation is already well known. Michael Manring (bass) for example, he is very known inside the prog-fusion area with solo records and many contributions. The same thing happens with Tim Alexander (drums). What surprises me is the lead guitar player Alex Skolnick. With good qualities already proved, but. a guitarist of the heavy- metal band called Testament!!!. This man had his Crimson-vanguardist style well hidden, because the truth is that he cannot do better. As you can see there are no keyboards.


Let me tell you that this sort of music needs masterful musicians as well as open and restless minds. The Magna Carta label is not, I confess it, one of my favorite labels, but there's no doubt that it's company that does not admit the mediocrity and in all its projects have great musicians. If you like, for example, the Thinking Plague, Dificil Equilibrio, the fusion of Allan Holsworth or Scott McGill, and all this with some touch of Crimson, I'm sure that you'll like "The Idiot King".

The CD contents eleven pieces that do not exceed the seven minutes or so. A summary of small and amusing exercises . Pieces that elapse under the water of the rhythmic experimentation and also the introduction of a guitar that fits perfectly well to each one of the forms molded by the bass and an excellent drum-machine. "American jingo" is an approximation to the American RIO of Tempest or Thinking Plague, connecting uneven pieces forming a strange but temperate figure. "Any Unforeseen event", is a piece much more jazzy. We find ourselves also with longer songs where the group experiences with the improvisation and they delight with the perfect control of it, for example "The risk of failure". Of course, tracks with Crimson flavor like "Low Voter Turnout". The fans or the people who practice with rhythmic instruments has in this CD a good lesson where to enjoy and to learn at the same time. Michael Manring is brilliant in many moments with a style taken from the master Jaco Pastorius, showing his skill in "RSVP" or in the following song called "My fellow astronaouts", sharing room with a magnificent and distorted guitar. All the pieces are worth to mention, for instance "The Killers till to blame", is an spectacular exercise of drumming with a great Tim Alexander, or the explosive "Nightmare on 48th".


I haven't hesitated a moment in placing this record on my list of the best of 2001, because I think sincerely that is one of the best, inside their style, of the previous year. I don't think it can disappoint nobody. We are talking about technique and experimentation. I've never believed that to be a good musician was easy, but I think that it's even more difficult to find a musician as good as to experience with his own music and to do it right. Just help yourself.

author - date - rating - label

Jordi Costa - February 2002 -   - Magna Carta