At its safest, LOSALIOS sounds like a surf twang band. At its most extreme, it sounds like the roof is coming off the fucking walls.
On its third album the end of the beauty, LOSALIOS expands its combination of jazz improvisation and rock ‘n’ roll grit.
the end of the beauty is a somewhat apt title, if your concept of “beauty” isn’t far removed from “pretty”. At times, this album can get downright ugly, but ugly in a way that’s beautiful.
On its previous album Colorado Shit Dog, LOSALIOS keyed into the grunge-meets-jazz template forged by former downtown New York improviser Wayne Horvitz. (He’s a former New Yorker; not a former improviser.)
This time, it sounds like LOSALIOS have taken a few pages from the playbook of John Zorn’s Naked City.
Strip away Zorn’s musical attention deficit disorder, and you end up with some hard, fast but ultimately tuneful pieces.
That’s the end of the beauty to the letter.
“Three Dog Night” and “Snake Eyes” borrow liberally from ’60s twang. “Faster Talking Heads” starts off with a very distinctly southern U.S. guitar style but eventually dissolves into a messy skonky fit.
“Kaze no Namae” starts off with a “Sing! Sing! Sing!” beat, gives way to a dissonant rock beat, then features an acoustic guitar solo.
“Chaser” is a long, fiery violin solo on top of folk guitar, and a bizzare bassline.
“Aurora ga Mai Kuruu Toki” bears — in spirit — a close resemblance to Zorn’s epic cut-and-paste pieces Spillane and Two-Lane Highway. It starts off quietly, then builds up and breaks down over the course of seven minutes.
The album gets much more dissonant toward the end. Arrange “Madorumi” for string quartet, and the Kronos Quartet could pass it off as a new commission.
The concluding track “Areno e Kaeru Monotachi e” is perhaps the crux of LOSALIOS’ aesthetic. The band plays a basic rock riff, but as the chords get heavier and the momentum builds, it explodes in a blast of dissonance.
It’s a fitting close to a wild and fiery album.
Guitarist Tsuchiya Masami shines throughout the end of the beauty, navigating rhythmic and harmonic complexities with ease. Wonderous bass player TOKIE may not play on all the tracks, but guest musicians Mick Karn and Dudley Phillips certainly keep up.
And somehow, leader Nakamura Tatsuya keeps it all together with some solid timekeeping drumming.
the end of the beauty is a beauty itself.