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Killing Spree - Boko Boko Tour

Nick Ostrum, Free Jazz Collective

Consisting of Sylvain Daniel (electric bass and effects), Gregoire Galichet (drums), and Matthieu Metzger (alto saxophone and electronics), Killing Spree released just one self-titled album (also on Ayler). Thre years later, they embarked on a tour through Japan. The results of this tour are captured on Boko Boko. All except one track on this album was recorded in studio on their debut. And, although this album otherwise follows similar patterns and trajectories as the studio release (this shines little “new light on the band’s compositions and improvisations” as the tag on the website claims), the rawness of the liver performance and recording does make some difference.

Killing Spree has been described as “avant-jazz-metal,” a label that points to their affinities for electric bass, intermittent growled vocals, and hard, dynamic sounds. For Killing Spree, this agglomeration of styles melds well. The metal elements are evident, but not contrived. One can say the same for the free jazz. Metzger can be a beast on the sax, but he also knows how rein himself in and forge looping melodies and atmospheric breakdowns out of his waves of controlled aggression. Daniel meanwhile lays heavy, chug-a-lug vamps and Geezer Butler-worthy strides. That is, when is not filling the role of the absent rhythm guitar or adding dense kindling to the frequent outbursts of collective improv conflagration. For his part, Galichet lends his sludgy blast-beat ballistics to help mire the group’s free jazz proclivities in a metal aesthetic. (It took me a few lessons to latch onto Galichet. The closer I listened, however, the more impressed I was with his drumming and, really, this entire trio.) This album is a wild ride, even if it is so similar to the trio’s other output. Play it loud.