Naked City
Torture Garden


4.5
superb

Review

by KYZAR USER (9 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2009 | 16 replies | 1,306 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Um? What just hit me?

“Hey dude, you see that movie Funny Games?” says my friend Steve, “The horror flick? I loved it!” I reply, “Well you remember that crazy song from the beginning? Well I got an album from those guys, and I just so happened to have burned you a copy”And so from that fateful day in Steve's living room came my exposure to Naked City. Naked City is a truly experimental band, and this is THE most experimental, technical, and crazy album I have ever heard. Now take into account that I enjoy Pig Destroyer, Dillinger Escape Plan and all forms of insane metal and you understand that I'm not joking.

Naked City are called Avant-Garde , which is defined, "advance guard" or “Vanguard” The adjective form is used in English, to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.” This is not a great description of Naked City, yes they are extremely experimental, but their true sound is a combination of free-form jazz, and grind core, yes grind core. This may sound like a horrible train wreck concoction of two genres that couldn't be more far apart, yet the musicians of Naked City some how pull it off into one distinct, and interesting album.

Only three of the 42(!) tracks are over a minute in length, and of those three none go beyond a minute twenty seconds. Each song is a short pulverizing blast and because of the short length no song gets repetitive (naturally), also the fact that the band experiment so much creates a list of standout tracks, like “Thrash Jazz Assassin” “Bonehead,” and “N.Y. Flat Top Box” to name a few. Almost 100 percent of Torture Garden is experimentation, and as such hardly any songs sound too similar. Yes a lot of songs stay with the grind-jazz approach, but Naked City throw so much different moods, tempos, and styles into their sound that everything feels new. To name a few different styles used; country rock, Motown, and gospel like organs on “Dead Spot.”

The songwriting also gets a good mention not because of how well the music is written, but how they successfully fused jazz and grind core. Every instrument shines, whether it be bass or Saxophone no instrument is over shadowed or under played. This is also due to the production which is good at bringing out every instrument in all its crazed experimental glory. All of the songs are very technical and even use some instruments in unique ways, in “Bonehead” a Saxophone is used to simulate a high pitched scream as the vocalist growls below it. Overall the instrumentation is topnotch and is a shining point of the album.

While Torture Garden is both refreshing and fun to listen to there are a few problems. For one you blaze through this album in just under 26 minutes! And while this isn't a fault to the music I was left wanting more. Also the vocals may turn off people as they are as experimental as the rest of the album. For the most part the vocalist isn't saying anything, but howls, and barks like a rabid dog, and while this is an impressive display they are really only a novelty and could have been improved with, you know, lyrics. Other than these small problems, Torture Garden is a great listen and I recommend it to anyone who wants something truly different, and straight-jacket-wearing, small animal-torturing insane.



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user ratings (114)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
For Meatplow (5)
While it might be far too inaccessible for many, for those who pay attention to Torture Garden will ...

MeowMeow (4)
Jazz meets grindcore. Get it now....

related reviews

Grand Guignol

Naked City

Comments:Add a Comment 
KYZAR
August 23rd 2009



513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

will probably be problems i wrote this pretty fast.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2009



17114 Comments


OMG John Zorn

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

fromtheinside
August 24th 2009



16337 Comments


first of all, wow there are 42 tracks.
second of all, i love Funny Games.

Digging: Bast - Spectres

Zip
August 24th 2009



5313 Comments


funny games sounds like a cool movie

noisymugwump
August 24th 2009



103 Comments


This is John Zorn doing what he called "hardcore miniatures", basically his twisted version of grindcore. Interestingly the album was reissued by grindcore's flagship label Earache and major labels didn't wanna touch the stuff despite Naked City originally being signed to a division of Warner Brothers.

Zip
August 24th 2009



5313 Comments


this is 20 years old holy crap

fromtheinside
August 24th 2009



16337 Comments


lmao.
funny games is a very good movie. it really pushes the boundaries of how desensitized culture has become today.

Zip
August 24th 2009



5313 Comments


Is the old one better than the remake?

Spare
August 24th 2009



5223 Comments


they're the same thing only one's american

fromtheinside
August 24th 2009



16337 Comments


what he said.

Zip
August 24th 2009



5313 Comments


ok then, will look into it.

cvlts
August 24th 2009



8917 Comments


haha, review made me lol a couple times.

pos.

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

Lambda
August 24th 2009



2332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great album, but I gave it a four because this is just a compilation of the grindcore songs from their first self-titled album and their second album, Grand Guignol

Boognish
August 24th 2009



1003 Comments


In a better world this would be elevator muzak

fromtheinside
August 24th 2009



16337 Comments


pos'd!

haha if only zipp3r were here to see me now...
i'm a very happy camper today.

Zip
August 25th 2009



5313 Comments


yeah what's wrong with you, did you get laid or something?



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