XXXX Bitter Irony by Milton Man Gogh

Release date: July 26, 2018
Label: Art As Catharsis Records

After their certainly impressive debut with Stress To Impress, late last year (reviewed on these pages), the Brisbane Australia avant-garde/jazz/metal/a few other things trio Milton Man Gogh are back with another EP – XXXX Bitter Irony. And the changes are…

Well, it seems the trio are a bit less stressed to impress since they are getting into their stride. While the three longish track are quite intense in their musical picture, the guys sound a bit more relaxed and assured in portraying them. Maybe that is where the irony (in a positive sense) lies.

Gogh’s go through the title track, ‘Doo Rocks’ and ‘Cradle Failure’ at an almost breakneck pace and tempo changes not attempted recently since the prog behemoth Yes or the late jazz legend Cecil Taylor. And they do it with such grace and aplomb (like Taylor, I guess) that it doesn’t sound either fake or like a total show-off. It sounds as if they are trying to do a jazz version of glitch and clicks & pops on acoustic instruments.

The intensity that Milton Man Gogh play with on this material is such that the 20 minutes of this EP is exactly the measure for the listener’s attention span and capabilities to digest the music. The only ‘problem’ is that after you’ve gone once through XXXX Bitter Irony, you have a nagging feeling you have to immediately give it yet another run. An avant-garde group to watch!

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