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The Idiot King

  out of 4 Music Review: The Idiot King

Artist: Attention Deficit
Genre: Rock
Release Date: May 2001

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
No rating supplied

Michael Manring (bass), Tim Alexander (drums), and Alex Skolnick (guitar) are Attention Deficit. "The Idiot King" is the interesting title of their new album. What makes it so thought consuming is the fact that this is all instrumental music. It's you, the music, and your imagination. I couldn't picture what it all meant until I read the press kit and then looked at the titles of the songs. This is all about America suffering from ADS, and the media controlling our thought processes and lifestyles. Do we all have the attention and focus of a household dog? Who is the king of the idiots? Think about it for a minute. I will let you come to your own conclusion with those thoughts. On to the music!

This is a super group power trio of the premier degree. All three men are respected veterans of the industry. These talented men don't have any one particular focus or influence; they seem to be able to put everything together quite nicely regardless of their varied backgrounds and musical directions. I heard some expert genre blending on every track. The bass playing reminded me of Stanley Clarke. I know at some point Manring must have listened to some Return To Forever, as I was reminded of that group several times while listening. Skolnick did sound like Al DiMeola at times too. Alexander didn't sound like Lenny White…he did sound quite amazing, but not like anyone else I have ever heard. Well, enough with the comparisons and gushing. This is a great album, and it is unquestionably a tour de force of instrumental fusion.

I am completely captivated by music like this. There is a good mix of rockers with heavily flavored jazz tracks to give the entire endeavor a balance and feel that is highly unusual. It remains consistently unyielding in a very good way. I noticed how strong the bass is throughout this recording, its obvious that Manring is the predominant instrumentalist. He is in complete command and his personality just overflows through his bass strings. Because of his upfront take charge attitude, the other two members benefit from him taking the lead. Skolnick is a fiery and empowered six-string maestro, while Alexander keeps perfect time with Manring, which I am sure, is no easy task judging by the odd time signatures that music of this nature creates. It's exponential; one musician starts were the other left off and so on and so forth.

This a very complex sequence of songs that would give any reviewer a daunting task to pick apart and break down, so you know what? I am not going to even attempt to do so. Why? Because it isn't necessary, it's an immense album from start to finish. If you aren't convinced after reading what I have to say about the validity and exceptional talent that this group has, then go to Wal-Mart and buy a Britney Spears album or something, you are hopeless. Hey, just get this CD you will love it. That is assuming you know about music, and are sophisticated enough to understand and appreciate the complexities and many minutiae of fusion. If you qualify, then go grab a slice musical perfection for your collection now.

1. American Jingo
2. Any Unforseen Event
3. The Risk Of Failure
4. Low Voter Turnout
5. Unclear Inarticulate Things
7. My Fellow Astronauts
8. Dubya
9. The Killers Are To Blame
10. Nightmare On 48th St.
11. Public Speaking Is Very Easy



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