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RE: In Response
:: Posted by jacethecrowl on April 06, 2014

snkzato1 writes: íGavin and Patís 2008 performances obliterate the Bill and Pat duo (and as much as I love Billís drumming that hurts to say).í

Exactly this. That 2008 lineup had a lot of rapport, but no time to develop into something truly great. The Bill/Pat team never coalesced for me, and while I have no opinion on Gavin as an individual player, he blended with Pat much more convincingly. (And I like a good racket, ThrakAttak would be my favorite of 90s KC -- oh probably ProjeKct Three actually). Tonyís a more soulful player than Trey, and the addition of Bill 2 (Rieflin, that is) is an exciting prospect. Right now I anticipate missing Belew, but weíll see what we have in 6 months or so.

re: in response
:: Posted by snkzato1 on April 06, 2014

And bombast is something I adore. King Crimson is one of the most composed íprogressiveí bands I listen to, as I tend to enjoy the other side of the spectrum more...the side that sounds like the band is consistently coming off the rails such as Magma, The Mars Volta, and The Psychic Paramount. Crimson balances both worlds quite well.

Beyond that though, however, when I see a band playing live I have no issue with some periodic sloppiness if the feeling the band emits is truly unique and encapsulating. That is why when I hear those little slip-ups on the Chicago 2008 show I really couldnít care less because the band was outright mad, truly showcasing a spiritual revising of the glorious Larkís line-up.

Perhaps Gavin isnít everyoneís cup of tea, and honestly I have no real frame of reference on him (I donít care that much for porcupine tree), but he worked wonderfully with Pat. Pat, the more I hear the more I realize how amazing he is with his mutant hybrid electric/acoustic drums.

Perhaps that is why the dual drummer set-up of Thrak didnít blow me away, because it felt like the mad scientist Pat, and the ravenous Bill were restraining themselves so they didnít stampede over everybody else.

It is more the frustration that when you see those 6 people on paper you assume you will hear something just truly out of this world. The double trio is great, but Iím left wanting more.

I think if we had gotten a second LP from this group we would have seen it truly actualized. Then again that is like imaging what Starless and Bible Black and Red would have sounded like if Muir didnít leave the band....oh my god the potential!

In Response
:: Posted by DannyX on April 06, 2014

emory0 writes: íDoubt what I say?í

I saw the Double Duo live twice, on separate tours. The band were cold with and distant from the audience, and each other...they didnít seem to care about what they were playing, so I figured, why should I?

snkzato1 writes: íGavin and Patís 2008 performances obliterate the Bill and Pat duo (and as much as I love Billís drumming that hurts to say).í

Iíve only heard the one Chicago show...although Tonyís low end was a welcome (if somewhat sloppy) return, I donít think Gavin brought much to the dual-drummer party at all (unless one is a fan of bombast)...I find Tobias Ralphís work with Pat in TCP infinitely more interesting.

:: Posted by bloggulator on April 06, 2014

For me, Thrak came as a total surprise; in 1994, the internet was still an embryo - compared to today - and I had been under the impression that King Crimson after "Three of a Perfect Pair" was (to be) no more. So when i was browsing through my local record store (remember those?) and saw Thrak nestling there amongst all the older familiar albums - my first thought was "a compilation of older material" until further inspection revealed otherwise. Most happily relieved of $15 and with a spring in my step, I abandoned my lunch plan and went straight home to listen!

Sitting in the studio with the monitors wound up pretty far, my initial impressions were "hmmm" - this sounds like a "hybrid of the Larksí Tongues band and the 1980s KC".... but over the next days and weeks the album grew on me, as have all the KC offerings of the past...some just take a little longer! For me Thrak is a "consolidation and condensation" of many musical ideas and devices developed by the band from 1969 to 1984, and presented in a 1990s framework, juxtaposing songs with instrumentals, and calm with storm. And I must add.... I love Thrakattak as well.... imho, one of the best improvisation rock albums ever. ("Jamming" ainít improvisation!).

Alongside Discipline and Larksí Tongues, Thrak has become one of my four favorite KC albums. For me however, the strongest of all the albums remains (musically, sonically and other intangible aspects) "The Power to Believe".

:: Posted by JuergenJ on April 05, 2014


No, I was not happy, then. I was very excited: a new KC album, but then, when I heard it: great moments, sure, but to much pop for me, easy listening, belewistic songs for the background.

Then cam Thrakattac - for me the best, KC ever did. Point.

re: Attack of Thrak
:: Posted by Valhalla on April 05, 2014

King Crimson usually have the dark & light side to their music. In my opinion, the lighter Belew ballads are a perfect opposite to the sometimes brutal & heavier music. It was the same with the 70ís Crimson also, Cadence & Cascade, Talk To The Wind & many others that followed with those different albums! It is a necessary íevilí to put it mildly! But an excellent one indeed!
I think it is the same scenario with the songs (lyrics) & instrumentals! Crimson usually represent the light & dark there also! It really is the perfect balance in many ways. Albums with only songs on them can get a little monotonous at times for me, just as all instrumental albums can. This is one of many reasons Crimson are one of my favourite bands!

Attack of THRAK!
:: Posted by snkzato1 on April 04, 2014

To be honest I am surprised by the amount of adoration that Thrak is receiving here. Do not get me wrong I do enjoy the album, as it is a great collection of songs, but when I pull back and consider its context I get rather frustrated.

Frustrated because here we have arguably the most intriguing line-up the band had seen and one with the most potential to truly reinvent progressive rock as it stood in the 90s (which was 6 feet under).

There are tracks like the openers and closers VROOM and VROOM VROOM that truly blow your mind away, but then there is stuff like One Time and Walking on Air. Not that these are bad songs, but the bandís structure really didnít warrant Belewís signature ballads.

Overall that is what really frustrated me about the THRAK era, it was filled with way too much "what ifs" rather than fulfillment. I felt every other era was pushed to their limits, and we really got to see what were the extremes of their potential, heck even the short lived 2008 Crimson did this. Thrak Crimson did not, its great do not get me wrong, but when you add Pat and Trey, two wonderful musicians you figure you will be entering a strata of music we could not conceptualize, and that just never happens. Gavin and Patís 2008 performances obliterate the Bill and Pat duo (and as much as I love Billís drumming that hurts to say).

90s King Crimson will for always be to me "it was great, but..." because we never got to hear what it could have been if pushed to its extremes. The drumming was never fully realized, the dual bass lines were not either. Most of the renditions of classic songs just seemed ílouderí not essentially more elaborate and interesting. Compare that to the 2008 line-up with truly off the wall renditions of íRedí and íSleeplessí and lets not forget how they finally showcased the power of íVROOMí.

Perhaps I am a sucker for big, in your face, abrasive style approaches, but when your line-up is 6 people that is what you expect.

Again, great, loved the improvs from THRAK (I actually enjoy Thrakattack), but I just leave wanting more.

And for goodness sake why is there no vinyl release!

:: Posted by rmaiolo on April 04, 2014

Though Iím sure Iíve heard Schizoid Man and maybe one or two other KC songs, it was really the 80ís trilogy that I was first exposed to, and soaked it up totally. Earlier incarnations of the band remained enigmatic and it wasnít until later that I could really appreciate the beast in all its incarnations.

THRAK helped in that respect. I saw it in the shops with no warning...a King Crimson album I hadnít seen before? Oh, itís a new album!

I guess I was expecting more of what I had heard from the 80ís band..but this was not what I expected. It had the familiar complexity, playfulness and interlocking beauty but it was also harsh, aggressive, powerful. Iím pretty sure that this helped me understand KC in all its breadth and depth pre-80ís it remains probably the most special album to me for that reason.

:: Posted by emory0 on April 04, 2014

"their last great album before losing focus and diluting their energy with the Projekcts"

What? No way. In fact, as awesome as the Double Trio was, Iíd say that the Projekcts acted like a lens, focusing a wide variety of stuff into the Double Duo, which was VERY focused.

Doubt what I say? Get ahold of the live version of Level 5: Thatís post-Thrak Crimson in a nutshell and Iím am somewhat doubtful they can surpass that. In fact, the Double Duo live was perhaps the best live version of Crimson. This is only somewhat reflected in the studio recordings.

THRAK 1995
:: Posted by mascar on April 04, 2014

I started listening to KC as of 1991 and purchased the e.g. Crimson discs and I liked it. The Great Deceiver Box came out and that was it, Iím hooked! First you have VROOOM, then comes THRAK, and before it hit the stores here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Iím driving up north and on some weird radio station in Rhinelander, this song comes on and itís Dinosaur!
They didnít say who it was until the track was over. Still, great moment on radio. THRAK is a heavy album and donít forget when Crimso was in New York On Late Night With Conan OíBrien doing the edit of Dinosaur. That was and still is great Crimson times.

Joey Schrank

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