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December 2, 2023

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Noel Coward's Ghost
Peyote Marching Songs, Volume One (Shzoid Records)

By: Gary "Pig" Gold

Lane Steinberg, until now best known as the producer behind an ear-boggling string of Cheepskate and Shane Faubert albums, suddenly commits to disc his very own self-built sound-shrine to all of his, and hopefully your, fave pillars of past musical mayhem. Sounds like a fun way to spend 43:16 (or, in Lane's case, two or three years), huh?

But whereas "The Lovely Maiden Voygle" may imply a Zappa/Zombies collaboration (Yikes!), and "Media Blitz" sounds as if the Quiet Beatle lent a slide guitar solo to Andy Partridge (ouch!!), Lane bravely rises above mere hat-tipping to concoct a work that somehow, against all apparent oddities, stands unique in its execution and its vision. For example, he can so easily swing from High Llamaesque tone poetry ("A Ghost In Wexford Terrace") to good ol' P.Harum-style r'n'r ("Excuses") and even have time for a damned-if-it-shouldn't-be-a-Top-40-smasherooni ("What's Wrong With Who Cares?") along the way.

Sure, like all the best things musical and otherwise in life, this album's a challenge at times, so wonderfully dense is its aural landscaping. But I heartily suggest you suit up and dig in nonetheless and hopefully Volume Two will be along any time now.

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