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CD Review
Venice Gas House Trolley - When In Rome (WI) (Live)

Venice Gas House Trolley

When In Rome (WI) (Live)
Record Label: self-released
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Review by Larry Bush
December 2012

This live effort from Madison-based group, Venice Gas House Trolley, lends an ever-expanding and eclectic listen for musicians and the casual fan alike.  Packed with psychedelic soundscapes and boundary exploring arrangements, it hangs its hat on constantly diverting from normative musical behavior, while also providing enough hooks and thick grooves to keep your head bobbing.  The group’s mood switches seamlessly from the garage to the festival stage, with an ever-winding trail between the two. Within the 10-plus minutes of the sprawling, “Brain Cells Are Invisible>Didyaseewhatisaw>Brain Cells (Reprise)>Through The Parking Lot Of Silver Spangled Darkness>Whadawedonow Chant>Parking Lot (Reprise)”, we hear the band embrace tones similar to Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade while also inducing sound collages that summon the Butthole Surfers and musical breaks reminiscent of early Mothers Of Invention compositions. On “Japanese House>Streetlamps (Reprise)”, vocalist Adam Gregory Pergament (aka Flowpoetry) mixes Captain Beefheart-tinged poetry with a vocal timbre closely-linked to Frank Zappa’s crooning on “Muffin Man”. Combining multiple styles with unique instrumental prowess, VGHT waves its sonic wand to explain that while in Rome, they did as few modern acts do, and in the process have delivered a live effort which grabs our attention and mangles musical boundaries.

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