|©2000 Eclectic Electic
1. The Mad Data Race
2. A Morning With Squeakie
3. Just A Little Dirty
4. See, And It's Sharp!
5. Suspended On All Fours
6. A Wild Hare
7. Harm And Half-Time Baking Shuffle
8. To Counter And Groove In E Minor
9. That 178 Thing
10. Eighths Is Enough
11. Mosquito Brain Surgery
12. Work Tapes
Spastic Ink is a highly technical instrumental metal trio consisting of guitarist Ron Jarzombek (formerly and now-again of Watchtower), bassist Pete Perez (of Riot), and Ron's brother Bobby on drums (ex-Riot, now playing in Rob Halford's new band Halford). Their album Ink Complete was originally released in 1997. EclecticElectric just picked it up for re-release in the US with new artwork and a bonus "work tapes" track tacked on at the end of an already packed CD.
Spastic Ink plays incredibly complex metal instrumentals, in the vein of themselves, mostly. One can tell that they grew up listening to the obvious people, but they are never derivative, mostly because nobody really plays that kind of music. Less obvious parallels and/or influences include Gentle Giant and Mike Keneally/Frank Zappa (for the whacked-out changes), Dream Theater (without the pomposity), Cacophony (for the unabashed over-the-top superior displays of musicianship), and early Shrapnel instrumental albums.
The compositions all have a raison d'etre, nicely laid out in the booklet ("See, and it's sharp!", for instance, "uses only two notes (C and C#), and is played over the most common, simplest time signature", while the drummer refrains from using his toms altogether, and the trio still manages to pull off a very interesting tune with variety).
This really isn't relaxing music. However, when one is in the right kind of mathematical kind of mood, the compositions are thoroughly enjoyable, and the musicianship is top-notch. And paradoxically enough, the general groovy heaviness that permeates the record also makes this album primo listening for headbanging metal freaks. Highly recommended.
Review by Rog The Frog Billerey-Mosier
Review date: 08/2000