12 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For sheer spark and audacity, Doc At the Radar Station ranks near the top of the Beefheart canon. The Captain (Don Van Vliet) spurs his latest edition of the Magic Band to ever-wilder heights, with guitarists Jeff Moris Tepper and Gary Lucas unleashing volleys of bursting notes against the stuttering percussion attacks of Robert Williams and John “Drumbo” French. Weird Mellotron snippets and gosling saxophone bleats fling color across conflicting rhythms and clashing textures. Snarling and beseeching, Beefheart holds forth like a man possessed, delivering some of his finest surreal word-spews on tracks like “Sue Egypt,” “Best Batch Yet” and the violently life-affirming “Making Love to a Vampire With a Monkey On My Knee.” “Ashtray Heart” is pure skewed Beefheartian boogie, while “Sheriff of Hong Kong” basks in a luminous shower of jagged riffs. “Hot Head” and “Run Paint Run Run” are insidiously catchy and accessible; the instrumental “A Carrot Is As Close As a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond” captures the Captain at his most delicate and serene. A late-period Beefheart masterpiece.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For sheer spark and audacity, Doc At the Radar Station ranks near the top of the Beefheart canon. The Captain (Don Van Vliet) spurs his latest edition of the Magic Band to ever-wilder heights, with guitarists Jeff Moris Tepper and Gary Lucas unleashing volleys of bursting notes against the stuttering percussion attacks of Robert Williams and John “Drumbo” French. Weird Mellotron snippets and gosling saxophone bleats fling color across conflicting rhythms and clashing textures. Snarling and beseeching, Beefheart holds forth like a man possessed, delivering some of his finest surreal word-spews on tracks like “Sue Egypt,” “Best Batch Yet” and the violently life-affirming “Making Love to a Vampire With a Monkey On My Knee.” “Ashtray Heart” is pure skewed Beefheartian boogie, while “Sheriff of Hong Kong” basks in a luminous shower of jagged riffs. “Hot Head” and “Run Paint Run Run” are insidiously catchy and accessible; the instrumental “A Carrot Is As Close As a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond” captures the Captain at his most delicate and serene. A late-period Beefheart masterpiece.

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