Zap And Other Hungers

By David Freedman

The Paper, July 15, 1968


One request before you read this review: please dig up a copy of the Mothers' FREAK-OUT first album and listen to "Trouble Comin' Every Day" if you haven't heard it recently.

LUMPY GRAVY is not actually the latest of the Mothers' work; it was recorded (and even advertised in underground papers last summer) nearly 1 1/2 years ago for Capitol Records with some of the regular Mothers and a bunch of strangers. Verve Records, a subsidiary of MGM, brought suit and so the album wasn't released until 2 weeks ago.

Like all of Zappa's work, LUMPY GRAVY is about the state of our civilization, or lack of it. Frank Zappa has always been a kind of frighteningly honest Samaurai for the middleclass post-war generation, spilling out our inevitable futures, private fears, and sacred guts all over the floor And having some strange beast voice tear you apart inside is an extremely intimate kind of thing to do with some flat plastic manufactured by a corporation that is "only in it for the money."

("...they were attackin me.... Pony, ah, uh, president, uh maybe pope or somethin, I dont know – somethins out there, its DANGEROUS..."

"Could be a cigar or somethin"

"A cigar? now, youre insane, come on..."

"now naw, I rmemeber when I was a ..... no, I dont remember"

"Those were the days yeah"

"that was, that was before the days of the horses"

"Yeah, horses, I dont know, or ponies, boogiemen, or somethin: whats out there." (From the album)

Zappa, serious composer, angry artist, social satirist, has a sense of humor as, good as, and a social-political vision probably more realistic than, that of Lenny Bruce.

("As soon as the ponys mane starts to get good in the back, any sort of like motion, especially of smoke or gas begins to make their ends split."

"Thats the basis of all their nationalism, like if they cant salute the smoke every morning when they get up". From album)

No singing on this album, just some talking and rock/modern music. LUMPY GRAVY is his most musically rich and maybe most mind-bendy album.