Exposé Online banner

Death and Taxe$ — The Alaska 12 Expeditions
(Obstreperous Audio TPS032566, 2004, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01

The Alaska 12 Expeditions Cover art

It would be easy to recommend this album based purely on the circumstances surrounding its release. What started out as the next D&T album turned into a completely different and ultimately more powerful record after bass/Stick player Tom Shannon’s passing due to brain cancer in 2002. With most of the material written and some initial sessions in the bag, guitarist Vince Martinez recruited new drummer Dean McCall and a host of friends in the SoCal music scene to help finish off the album. Shannon’s presence is strongly felt across the entire album, both lyrically and musically. “Death:Theory” (featuring improv outfit Bag:Theory) includes his own words written shortly before his death and the solo bass recording “The War Against Mental Atrophy” captures Shannon’s efforts to play despite his deteriorating health. The album also includes songs replete with D&T’s typical stew of rock, metal, prog, and funk that to my ears blends the dark heaviness of Tool with the L.A. funk of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the avant-prog rock of The Mars Volta. The material shifts into newer directions with the gorgeously uplifting Martinez piece “Revolver” and the funky blues waltz of “Death:Theory.” Things get downright eerie in places, such as a Shannon’s brief stage introduction that opens the album or the tolling church bell that accompanies “Terrifying Anticipations of the Unspeakable.” The album closes with a short demo recording by Shannon and Martinez that perfectly concludes this tribute to a musician that many will miss and few will soon forget.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Death and Taxes

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Schwartzarbeit - James Gordon's Story – An entirely instrumental concept album about a burned out musician who spends his life indoors in boredom, and eventually works through it all with a fresh approach to his music. Not a very elaborate...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues