This UK duo - Matt Thompson and Dave Smith, sometimes now a trio with ex-Honkies sax player Caroline Kraabel - play noisy post-rock Zeuhl music, indeed taking their unhealthy (?) obsession with all things Japanese and/or Magma-oid so far as to have recorded and released an improv jam session with Ruins!

    A long time ago, I was in France, and met this guy Philippe, who runs the BEST label in France, Pandemonium. Two bands on his label totally blew my mind, Hint and Guapo. I told him that if either band ever released another record, I would put it out in the US (since he was having a lot of trouble with US distribution). About a year later, I got the call. A new Guapo record! So here it is.

    UK noise-skree-experimental rock duo Guapo are the ELP of the 22nd century. And I mean that as the greatest compliment possible. Guapo take their prog-rock obessions and unbelievable instrumental prowess to the limit on this new album, a joint release with the almighty Pandemonium label. Guapo have always littered their heavy hardcore avant-pummel with prog-rock references, specifically of the Zeuhl variety - they even had a 7" single entitled "Guapo vs. Magma". And their previous release was a live improv collaboration with japanese beyond-prog madmen the Ruins.

    Now, with Great Sage, Equal Of Heaven, Guapo have made an intense, over-the-top, all-instrumental totally punishing prog masterpiece for the 22st century. From the truly bizarre cover and interior paintings to the mindboggling and completely fucked song structures to the sax blowouts of ex-Honkies Caroline Krabel to the lengthy DRUM SOLO that pops up in "Zero for Conduct" to the album-closing 16 minute epic "El Topo". This disc is an epic prog rock blowout that takes 1970's prog and ups the ante: ups the volume, ups the noise and completely destroys. Especially if you like the Ruins (their heavier, less spastic stuff especially) or Ruins' Magmoid side-project Koenjihyyakei.

    Guapo will blow your mind.

Guapo reviews
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