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Album Review

The second of only two Hampton albums to contain his bizarre poetry, Isles of Langerhan is a bit easier to get your arms around than its predecessor, Outside Looking Out. It's not that the lyrics make more sense (only a fool would try to get into the colonel's head here); it's just easier to resist the silly notion that you can follow his train of thought if you try hard enough, because the music rocks hard and the grooves are deep and that's really all that matters. Other than a little jazz ("Celtic Annoyance"), rockabilly (bonus track "Jack the Rabbit"), and a few sundry odds and ends, this is essentially great rock & roll that was way ahead of its time when originally released on vinyl in 1982, yet delightfully timeless upon its re-release on CD by the Atlanta-based Terminus Records 20 years later. On a few tunes, the lyrics are not so much sung as they are spoken in a somewhat repetitive and singsong manner, but the music over which they are draped is often quite complex and the musicians playing it are killer. By the way, don't bother pulling out a map to find out where the Isles of Langerhan are; consult your medical dictionary.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Equal parts psychedelicized Allman Brothers and boogiefied Grateful Dead (with a dash of Commander Cody thrown in), Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit capitalized on the nuevo-hippie movement that swept through America in the early '90s. The Atlanta-born Hampton has been kicking around the Southern music circuit since the early '60s; as the Hampton Grease Band, he released Music to Eat on Columbia Records in 1969. After the Grease Band folded, Hampton released a solo effort (One Ruined...
Full bio
Isles of Langerhan, Col. Bruce Hampton
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