Nutritionally Sound   ZOOGZ RIFT & MARC MYLAR  - Nutritionally Sound

LOS ANGELES READER (February 22, 1991)

Trigon is not strictly a punk label; it is responsible for giving us the latest by the man who swore he would never record again, The Liquid Moamo himself, Zoogz Rift, who with Marc Mylar has made the weird-tasting but avant-delicious Nutritionally Sound.  Actually Zoogz does make punk, but punk of a different color, or perhaps a different dimension.  He and Mylar bang away with mischievous abandon on computers, guitars, keyboards, saxophones, clarinets, and more, juxtaposing the classic "Take the 'A' Train" with their "Take the 'Z' Train", dispelling myths in "Secret Marines -- the Untold Story", and jiggling quite catchily on "Skeleton Prototype Quagmire 10".  Oh, I almost forgot -- you must hear Zoogz & Marc's take on Freddy & the Dreamers' drippy Brit hit "I'm Telling You Now" -- it puts a whole new spin on synchronized hopping.

OPTION (Frank Beeson, Mar/Apr 1991)

This duo goes wacky (in a Zappa-ish sense), utilizing electronics and studio gimmickry to the max.  Actually, most of this consists of carefully done space age (and new age) instrumentals, usually of an extended nature.  The first time vocals come in, it is a spoken dialogue over a musical backing.  This is followed by a growling blues vocal on a saxophone-laced, almost progressive jazz number.  In the middle of this madness we get a somewhat straight ahead cover of Freddie & the Dreamers' "I'm Telling You Now" (what the hell's going on here?) and, later, a fairly straight ahead cover (although Oingo Boingo-like) of James Brown's "Get Up Off That Thing."  I don't know if the nine minutes worth of Biblical-inspired dialog in "Crazed Be the Lord" means anything, but the shorter "You Are Being Watched" makes for some fine Pere Ubu-type noise.  A lot of meticulous care seems to have been taken putting this together, and I'm sure the participants are satisfied with the results.  If eccentrics like Steve Fisk are your cup of tea, then this is for you.

KEYBOARD (March 1991)

Fans of alternative music won't want to miss this one.  Rift and Mylar romp through an overgrown garden of wild and wacky musical landmarks, from Captain Beefheart references (the growling vocal in "All Bets Are Off") and fuzztone guitar solos to some surprisingly delicate and evocative electronic passages.  And let's not forget the almost-straight version of Freddie and the Dreamers' "I'm Telling You Now."  Narratives and sampled vocal fragments provide glimpses into assorted nightmares.


Well, this is about as weird as it gets, folks.  Zoogz and Marc start out with "Take the A Train" and get stranger through there, deranging and transforming a mix of originals and classics.  There are all sorts of effects, wild scary tales about people being turned into trees, synthetic sounds and bizarro guitar playing galore, and that inimitable Zoogz Rift style.  Bouncy kickass music for people whose universe is not yet strange enough.


Uh, yeah.  I've seen stuff written about Mr. Zoogz for some time, but never got inspired to try anything by him till this little number wafted my way.  I guess I'd have to confess to being somewhat out of my element trying to review this.  It reminds me a lot of the Frank Zappa stuff that used to come out in the early 70s, though to be honest I'm not sure I remember all that clearly enough to be sure the comparison is valid.  Let's just say it's very quirky, busy sounding music with all sorts of odd sounds floating in and out, with rhythms from all over but seldom from rock and roll.  Somehow I think a bong is necessary for total enjoyment, and I gave 'em up for Lent.

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