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Proof of Utah Discography: OUT OF ORDER

There aren't many song-oriented bands that can be discussed without stooping to genre-lizations--maybe English Settlement period XTC or Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy. "Out Of Order", the fifth album from Proof Of Utah (Smiley Turtle Records) is another. They create their own universe of squealing lyrics and warped songs that's all too easy to lose oneself in. Similar in cheekiness to early Camper Van Beethoven records--check out the neo-hippyisms of "Neck Of The Land" and "Tennessee Bell"--the six member (plus guests) band augment their off-center pop constructions with vertigo-inducing arrangements. "The Pointed Lady" is rubbery like only Pylon or Pell Mell can be. For all modern comparisons, it's the dada spell (but not the kitschiness) of the Mothers Of Invention which Proof Of Utah is most similar to. Out Of Order is the twisted black licorice stick of the '90 record crop. -ROCKPOOL MAGAZINE

This six-man ensemble is as fresh and unique as the Talking Heads were in their halcyon days. They also evince a sense of humor similar to some of the B-52's material, but pedal way beyond that via their sophisticated (but hayseed!) vocals. Proof Of Utah is definitely a breezy wrinkle in whatever wave one might be foolish enough to try to pigeonhole them. If Zappy had a cult following of CPA's, they'd sing like this, with informed and witty inflection, but deadpan as a wrapped fish, surrounded by quirky instrumentation that suggests what Beefheart might sound like if he ever lightened up and followed-up on some of his coherent "Clear Spot" material. The lyrics herein hit upon weird visions and erratic stream-of consciousness interpretations, though they lack the diamond-hard insight that separates the prophet from the lyric juggler. Like Heather Perkins and some of the indies who take common modes and wrap them around a pole until you're not sure whether you're listening to stretched and warped standards or a whole new genre, Proof Of Utah has an uncanny ability to seduce one's sense of familiarity. This release should even attract the outer axe, and fringe-progressive crowds. It's THAT sophisticated, polished, and innovative (GREAT hornwork, too). Seriously wackaloon, and almost unsettling in their chameleonism, this is one brilliant little band. -SOUND CHOICE

Proof Of Utah's fifth LP reminds me of how many people I knew who were into collecting novelty singles before the emergence of Roxy Music, Eno, Cale, The Nihilist Spasm Band, Kevin Ayers, Sparks and all of the other members of Island Records' mid-'70s neo-progressive wave. We were, uh, legion. And this great LP sits on some indefinable, unmappable spot on a line that connects Jim Backus' "Delicious" 45 to the Residents' Eskimo LP and Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy. There's nothing on it that couldn't have come from almost any time during the last 20 years but, as with the three examples cited above, the sounds are far from "retro." They are simply out-of-time. This disk often makes me imagine what Eno himself might've done had he hooked himself up with people less vampirically dull than the Davids (Bowie and Byrne). `Cause this is like a totally non-candy-ass garage version of feckless, grunge progfoolery. And I am for it. -FORCED EXPOSURE

I hold in my hot little hands the fifth POU release to date: a funky jazz-laden burden on society. As in previous UTAH releases, the lyrics act as special prizes straight from a box of gooey Cracker-Jacks. The overall mood of Out Of Order is one of pop indignation, a mocking of banal people in a banal age. Funky rhythms and poignant humor make POU certainly in order. -BEN IS DEAD

Copyright 2007 Proof of Utah