THE WRONG OBJECT — After The Exhibition (review)

THE WRONG OBJECT — After The Exhibition album cover Album · 2013 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Sean Trane
To be honest, by the start of the last calendar year ('13), after a four to six year silence, I thought that TWO was a dead thing. It sure seems like the project certainly went through a delicate phase, since there remains only two members from the line-up that had recorded the awesome Stories From The Shed. Indeed only leader Delville and drummer Delchambre remain, the main change being the addition of Antoine Guenet (ex-PaNoPTiCoN and presently also in the new Univers Zero line-up). Actually, if memory serves, most of the newcomers come of PaNoPTiCoN, which never had a fixed line-up anyway, due to the concept of the project. Elsewhere Pollard gave way to Mottet on bass, and Melia and Lourtie are now blowing the horns, and the always excellent vibraphonist Benoit Moerlen appears as a guest on no less than four tracks. So, something did happen, and TWO's rebirth six years after is a sweet gift, courtesy of the great Moonjune label.

Despite the heavy line-up changes, you'll have no problems recognizing instantly TWO, but I would not call ATE just another Wrong Object album. This is probably the band's most "prog-rock" album, despite retaining its heavy JR/F and Zappa atmospheres. The heavy Detox Gruel is a mix of riffs and gypsy jazz music. The three-parts and almost 17-mins Jungle Cow is the centrepiece of the album, but hardly the most accessible, as the first two movements are often bordering on dissonance, but it remains reasonable, and the third really delivers the good with some cool dramatics. The following Glass Cubes features female vocals, and though it brings a breath of fresh air, though the start has a "déjà-entendu", but the second part sounds like a cross of Gong meets Kate Bush.

A fine return to affairs from a group most of us thought dead (or at least dormant), although it doesn't reach the perfection of Stories From The Shed. While ATE might not be the most representative of their usual soundscapes (given the important line-up changes), it's still very much a worthy TWO album, and ranks in my top 5 album of 2013, among with Maalouf's Illusions and Setna's Guérison. Definitely worth investigating
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