The Wrong Object- Stories from the Shed
(Moonjune Records MJR018)

From Aural Innovations #39 (May 2008)

From Liege, Belgium, comes The Wrong Object, exponents of progressive jazz/rock in the style of the Canterbury scene but updated for the 21st century. Little surprise then that this album is released on Moonjune Records, a label taking its title from Robert Wyatt’s Soft Machine classic. Indeed, previous Wrong Object collaborators have included former Softs saxophonist, the late Elton Dean on one of his final projects.

Some of this psychedelic jazz is pretty wild, particularly the opening track “Sonic Riot At The Holy Palate” (nice title), which features furious playing from guitarist Michel Deville. Most tracks are written by Deville, who also plays guitar-synth and electronics, although all band members have opportunity to contribute to the writing at some point on the album. For example, the tricky time signatures on “15/05” are the work of tenor sax player Fred Delplancq, and “Rippling Stones” is a group composition. Musically, horns dominate on most of the tracks in a manner reminiscent of mid-era Soft Machine or Bill Bruford’s Earthworks project.

The oxymoronic “Malign Siesta” features multiple tempo changes that keep you guessing throughout, before breaking into a Zappa-esque percussion solo, followed by a fiery rock guitar break. Although this album features all original compositions, the band have recorded Zappa covers in the past, and Deville, a professor of English Literature, has authored a book entitled “Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and the Secret History of Maximalism”.

At different times cruisey jazz, psychedelic rock (as on the fuzzed-out break in “Strangler Fig“), and pure experimentalism (“Waves And Radiations“), The Wrong Object’s music is difficult to categorise. Styles can change several times within the course of each track. “Stories From The Shed” was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, and features new material as well as tracks from previous albums, including some currently out of print. This makes it a fine introduction to this band of eclectic progressive musicians.

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Reviewed by Pat Albertson

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