Release Date: Jun 24, 2008
Record label: Pi
Genre(s): Rock, Experimental
Marc Ribot calls Ceramic Dog (Ribot, Shahzad Ismaily, Ches Smith) his first rock band since high school. Those familiar with his catalog might be surprised by that, since many of his albums have rocked pretty hard. True enough, there are more songs with words and the power trio format emphasizes the rock aspect, but Party Intellectuals is no less wide-ranging than albums like Rootless Cosmopolitans or Requiem for What's His Name.
Often just below Nels Cline on the guitar-hero radar, avant-garde guitarist and downtown New York City mainstay Marc Ribot has carved out a massive place for himself in many genres. He has worked with Tom Waits, John Zorn and Marianne Faithful, and his own recent band, Spiritual Unity, which has done its part to revive the work of free-jazz saint Albert Ayler. Ribot is at home in jazz, punk, psych-out improv and soul.
Ceramic Dog is a new trio consisting of Marc Ribot, drummer Ches Smith and bassist Shahzad Ismaily, with Ribot standing democratically but firmly at the helm. Much of the disc has a multilayered and disarmingly retro vibe about it, showing up in the strangest places. The opening “Break on Through” is a wild, contemporary reading of the Doors classic-rock radio staple with compressed and distorted vocals, shifting rhythmic accents and layers of Ribot’s classy guitar.