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Free-Jazz Punishment 

Wednesday, Mar 18 2009

Over the past decade, Italian power trio Zu has refined its brutal mix of slide-rule hardcore and noisy free-jazz skronk into a terrifying onslaught. With echoes of Lightning Bolt and John Zorn's Naked City, baritone saxophonist Luca T. Mai, electric bassist Massimo Pupillo, and drummer Jacopo Battaglia blur the line between frenetic improvisation and intricate song (de)structure on their latest album, Carboniferous. Issued on local avant-rock icon Mike Patton's Ipecac label and featuring guest spots by Patton and Melvins/Fantomas guitarist Buzz Osborne, the disc packs a visceral intensity few bands of any extreme genre can match.

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Dave Pehling


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