With an uncanny ability to make hectic chop 'n' change asymmetries sound suave and ducky, this American R.I.O. unit's irresistible tunes and overall spirit of infectious bonhomie recall Fred Frith during his peak Gravity/Speechless period. High praise indeed, but the manner in which these folks temper their jubilance with undertows of unease mirrors Frith's work with the members of both Etron Fou Leloublan and The Muffins on those two album, and indeed, the man himself appears in a guest capacity here on guitar and violin as does virtuoso avant guitarist Hans Reichel, who doesn't normally move around outside of improv contexts. Tone Dogs were led by two highly fluid and unusual multi-instrumentalists in the form of Amy Denio and Fred Chalenor and backed up by one Matt Cameron, who's soon depart for rock star land as drummer for fellow Seattle-ites Soundgarden. Both Denio and Chalenor would go on to do much remarkable work in the future, Denio with the E.C. Nudes together with Chris Cutler and Chalenor with Caveman Shoestore and collaborations with Soft Machine's Hugh Hopper. But this album is where it all started. And it's a whopper.
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