this just doesn't work

Thief in the Garden (Wiggle Records)
Thief in the Garden

By Brent Starkey

This is a Louisville release by Chris Bartley (vocals, preaching) and John Krauss (everything else), with help from Glenn Watts (bass on five tracks and sax on one) and David Hoback (drums on four tracks). That said, this is an amalgamation of styles ranging from industrial to prog-rock with the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. Does it work?

In a word, no. In fact, at times ("Kiss The Thing," "Erased") it gets downright overblown and boring. I did find the dark overtones of "Frenzy" to be kind of interesting in a gothic sort of way, but I can't find much else to recommend this. The production (by Krauss) fluctuates from song to song (quite good to quite bad), but the playing is tight and at times impressive. The lyrics? Let's sum it up with a look at "Peeky Winky": "Smell me with that gun, Smell me like a dog, Smell me you can't wash it off, Smell me with your fingers/Smell me, I smell your butt,/Smell me that way."

Lots of preoccupation with sex and religion. Probably my biggest complaint is that at over an hour, this 13-song CD is waaay too long to hold much attention but you can find my copy in the used-bin.