Albert Ayler’s Ghosts Live at the Yellow Ghetto
“Skronk” n. Term attributed to Robert Christgau by Lester Bangs in 1981’s: ‘A Reasonable Guide to Horrible Noise’ referring to music of the late ’70s art-punk movement.
Pretty sure the dean of American music critics was listening to something like Cleveland’s X__X when he penned “skronk”. X__X was formed by John Morton (Electric Eels, Johnny and the Dicks) in 1978, rising up from the same “anti-scene” that gave us Pere Ubu, Rocket From the Tombs, Peter Laughner and more. Bored with whatever the radio had to offer, they formed “art punk” bands that lauded the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and free jazz, and combined into a noisy stew of, well…skronk.
Fast forward to the present day, and Morton (guitar, vocals) and crew- Andrew Klimeyk, guitar, Craig Bell on bass and Matthew Harris haven’t backed off an itch. Albert Ayler’s Ghosts Live at the Yellow Ghetto is an aural assault that leaves you gasping. Reminiscent of the No New York movement or James White and the Blacks, the “songs” come fast and furious, such as “Transmography” or the cover of Albert Ayler’s “Ghosts.” This is no compromise music, short and sweet (CD is about 30 minutes, give or take) and frankly, you couldn’t stand much more. Anarchy is best served in small doses.