Exposé Online banner

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog — YRU Still Here?
(Northern Spy , 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-06-09

YRU Still Here? Cover art

Guitarist Marc Ribot has a recorded history that is so diverse as to be of little use in predicting what a new album might sound like. His group Ceramic Dog consists of Ches Smith (drums, percussion, electronics, vocals) and Shahzad Ismaily (bass, synth, percussion, vocals), two members of Secret Chiefs 3, so it would be reasonable to expect some features of that band’s experimental pan-global genre-stew to be present. That expectation is fulfilled in numerous ways and infused with a ragged, angry punkish energy more concerned with angsty expression than precisely rendered compositions. Rhythms touch on funk, dub reggae, African, Middle Eastern, and thrashing rock, all spliced together in varying ways. Ribot’s playing has a core of blues, folk, and rock, but mutated with a lot of atonal noises and dissonance, that has won him many jobs as a sideman (Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, John Zorn, David Sylvian, and more). In addition to this wild guitar work, he contributes Farfisa organ, a bit of bass, and vocals. Guests provide a number of other instruments, including sitar, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The vocals are often more shouted than sung, and touch on social and political topics as well as personal ones, so they often resemble the chanting at a protest march. Some highlights are the sitar-driven “Orthodoxy,” the messed-up funk of “Freak Freak Freak on the Peripherique,” and the oddball grooving of “Oral Sidney with a U.” I’m going to call it all Global Freak-Rock, and leave it at that. Probably not for everyone, but if you’ve got a tolerance for edgy noise and a fondness for non-rock elements tossed in, YRU Still Here? is a fascinating release.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Marc Ribot / Ceramic Dog

More info
http://marcribotsceramicdog.bandcamp.com/album/yru-still-here

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mani Neumeier + Friends - Terra Amphibia: Deep in the Jungle – Terra Amphibia is the project which occupies Mani Neumeier during time away from Guru Guru. World music and East Asian culture appropriation are Mani’s hobbies, which find him jamming and flirting...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues