First Appeared in The Music Box, April 1999, Volume 6, #4
Written by John Metzger
The Disco Biscuits formed in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. After releasing its debut disc Encephalous Crime, the group signed with Hydrophonics Records. By the end of 1998, it was touring the country behind its sophomore effort Uncivilized Area. The album was recorded live in the studio and features only eight tracks, though each is elongated to fill the CD with nearly 72 minutes of music.
Throughout Uncivilized Area, the Disco Biscuits sound an awful lot like Lawn Boy-era Phish. Jazz and blues are combined with funky grooves that converge and then dissipate, changing tempo and effortlessly jumping from style to style. Like Phish, the Disco Biscuits cite Frank Zappa as a primary influence, and it shows. The group also brings a healthy dose of manic progressive rock to the fold, much of which comes straight from the songbook of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.
Are the Disco Biscuits really doing anything all that different from the other jam-bands making the rounds today? No, not really. But, when taken at face value, that doesn't make Uncivilized Area any less enjoyable. ½
Uncivilized Area is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1999 The Music Box