It’s been a good while since I’ve heard some materials from Belgian guitarist virtuoso, Michel Delville from his solo projects with Doubt and Machine Mass Trio to name and helping the tribute to Soft Machine's and Matching Mole's drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt with Comicoperando featuring two members from Henry Cow and a few members including; double bassist John Edwards, Keyboardist Karen Mantler, and Annie Whitehead on trombone to honor and respect Wyatt's music in Amsterdam on May 19, 2011. But its been six years since his group, The Wrong Object have released an album. And while this is my introduction to the band’s music, I have to tell you I’m completely hooked with their sound and surreal beauty they would come up with.
That and their new album, After the Exhibition, released this year by the good people at Moonjune Records, has come in full circle. It has this voyage of Jazz Rock, Free-Jazz, Avant-Rock, Ambient noises, Chamber Music, and bits of Rock in Opposition to fill in the influences of The Wrong Object’s inspiration. Originally, they started out as a Frank Zappa tribute band and performed in Zappanale, which is the festival and honor the genius of the composer and various Jazz Festivals in Europe as well.
But, let’s get straight to the music. The blistering Detox Gruel starts the album off with a bang featuring Francois Lourtie and Marti Melia’s Sax work and Michel’s guitar line that begins with a soothing race before going into uncharted nightmares as Antoine Guenet of SH.TG.N layers the fuzz keyboard sound as they resemble a heavier version of Manfred Mann’s Chapter Three meets Black Sabbath with a droning attitude and not to mention the stop-and-go reference from bassist Pierre Mottet.
But Pierre comes in shining with his Jazz Funk surroundings as he takes center stage on the wah-wah and Pastorious-lines on Spanish Fly as the band goes into an astonishing yet balls out time-changing experience as Yantra goes straight in the waters of middle-eastern late ‘60s early ‘70s vibe with the Saxes wailing through the beat and tempo to capture and raise the notes to see where both Lourtie and Melia go from their instruments.
Frank Nuts is heavy hard jazz-rock like no other. Featuring Michel and Pierre’s intro playing the melody between guitar and bass as Antoine goes into this Dave Stewart of Egg haywire effect on the organ as it go into this alarming effect that is almost post-apocalyptic and cooled down for the last few minutes. Then there’s the unthinkable 3-part suite of Jungle Cow.
There are surroundings as I’ve mentioned, Chamber Music, Ambient-noises, animal-like effect noises, Atmospheric effects, and a dramatic RIO fast-driven turned dooming finale that comes with unbelievable results by nodding to Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma-era, Tangerine Dream, Magma, Univers Zero, King Crimson, and the Pawn Hearts-era of Van Der Graaf Generator.
The 8-minute Glass Cubes featuring Susan Clynes and Antoine Guenet, which is the only track to feature vocals, goes through a concerto into various moods and soars into the sky. It has elements of early Gentle Giant as Antoine’s voice resembles Paul Shulman as Susan herself cools it down to share her voice with Guenet before he goes into this wonderful improvisation on the piano.
Then it’s back into the Jazz-Rock vibe on Wrong But Not False where Michel discovers his influential guitar sound as he takes it into different worlds with his solo with going into different frets on the instrument. At times it’s very bluesy, hard, and fusion to the core while Flashlight into Black Hole is a calm turned into a hypnotic ecstatic workout.
The closer, Stammtisch (Regulars’ Table), features Benoit Moerlen going into wonderous momentum on the vibraphone as he pays homage to Ruth Underwood as it becomes this wonderful tribute not just to Frank Zappa, but the way he would take a different approach into something humorous and fun in a dance-like way before Antoine and Michel go into this waltz-like beauty to close the album off for the curtain to drop.
After The Exhibition is a welcoming handshake for The Wrong Object’s return. This is a wacky, joyous, and ready to enjoy the rollercoaster ride to have fun. The band is in full swing to see what they had up their sleeves.