The Wrong Object – After the Exhibition
(MoonJune MJR055. CD Review by Chris Parker)
With avowed influences including everyone from Mingus to Bartok, Soft Machine and Gong to Terje Rypdal, The Wrong Object are quintessential MoonJune artists, and After the Exhibition, with its rumbustious, uncompromising, full-on jazz-rock sound, could not reasonably be mistaken for the production of any other label.
It’s five years since the band’s previous release, Stories from the Shed, and their core personnel now includes keyboard player Antoine Guenet, saxophonists Marti Melia and François Lourtie and bassist Pierre Mottet alongside original members Laurent Delchambre (drums) and composer/guitarist Michel Delville.
Also on board for this recording are singer Susan Clynes (who adds an affecting vocal to the most overtly poppy track, ‘Glass Cubes’) and – accounting, courtesy of his judicious use of marimba and electronic vibes, for the album’s frequent and almost manically jaunty Zappaesqueness – Benoît Moerlen.
As well as embracing perhaps more textural variety than its predecessor, After the Exhibition is also more obviously structured, with its tricksy ensemble passages, skilfully negotiated by a sharp-eared, fiercely interactive band, giving rise to a series of blisteringly eloquent Delville solos as well as powerful, gutsy contributions from the saxophones and keyboards.
At once strikingly various – driving Led Bib-like roaring is intelligently interspersed with hypnotic, spacy music, heavy riffs jostle against ringingly joyous climaxes and tear-it-up hurtles – and cleverly programmed (Moerlen’s ingenious ‘Stammtisch’ providing an extraordinary climax to proceedings), this is an unequivocally enjoyable album from a full-throttle band at the top of its game.