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Album Review

If nothing else, Abunai's third album shows that the group's sense of design remains entertaining. The disc comes in a clear plastic bag meant to resemble a guitar string package, with the cover art appropriately designed in a hippie-burnout way (a frazzle-haired guy in a rehearsal room, slogans like "best possible jams" and "more brilliant tone and longer life," etc.). Released in conjunction with the fourth Terrastock festival, Round Wound finds the four-piece still able to kick up a mighty psych/rock/drone storm, with any number of amusing asides and fragments along the way. Consisting of a series of live jams over three years time then edited down and tweaked into final form, if it's not quite as epochal and unique as Can in full flight, it's still space rock in the best of senses. Generally alternating between brief selections and full-on monsters (the longest being the nearly 13-minute "Drowning in Light"), Round Wound's a glazed buzz and howl of a disc. Vocals such as theses tend to be wordless or off-the-cuff — it's pretty much instrumental fun being had this time around. The editing together of the various tracks isn't seamless (and isn't meant to be) but still shifts just well enough, even when it all goes down to studio chatter and tuning up, to make it seem like an organic, all-in-one experience. When at its most revved up and far gone, meanwhile, the band just plain takes off — calling the result something like prime Hawkwind isn't meant to be a criticism, as songs like "Bwow Winds?" and "Motorcyle Boots" show. Brendan Quinn's guitar work hits the star lanes just so, Dan Parmenter and Joe Turner keep the rhythms moving, Kris Thompson tops it off with keyboards, and one couldn't ask for anything better.


Formed: 1996 in Brighton, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Judging from their affinity for psychedelic pop/rock (with some improv elements thrown in as well), the Boston quartet Abunai! are major admirers of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The band originally formed during the mid-'90s, when Dan Parmenter (bass), Brendan Quinn (guitar), and Joe Turner (drums) got together to jam -- all of whom had previously logged time with other local groups. Shortly thereafter, multi-instrumentalist Kris Thompson (organ, synthesizer, theremin) signed on, rounding out Abunai!...
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Round-Wound, Abunai!
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