Blink. | The Epidemic Of Ideas

 Thirsty Ear (2008)
By JON GARELICK  |  October 1, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Chicago quartet Blink. (hey, the punctuation is their idea) mix and match the skronk of the Chicago scene (pace Ken Vandermark) with a healthy dose of New Yorker Tim Berne’s angular mantras and their own taste for electronics. So you get lots of rock backbeats, nasty, skewed electric guitar (Dave Miller), an alto sax as controlled and precise as it is freewheeling and fearless (Greg Ward), and lots of those Berne cyclical-pattern rave-ups (held down by bassist Jeff Greene and drummer Quin Kirchner). “Glass” (as in Philip?) builds from gamelan clanks and chimes over a drone of long-tone sax and tart Sonic Youth guitar intervals, then continues to unspool, drums joining in, until a full-fledged freakout is under way, and then a slow fade back down to quiet gamelan. Throughout, Miller and Ward are perfect foils — needling each other, playing in splintered counterpoint, making a ruckus, but a spare ruckus. Aside from the general aggressive, post-rock, post-jazz underground feel, there’s pretty tunes here, lots of slow, quiet parts, bebop flow, and even some walking bass. Another way to hear jazz. 

Blink. | Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge | October 6 at 8 pm | $10 | 617.395.1393 orwww.lily-pad.net

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