New Zealand

Salient is the weekly students' magazine of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Salient was established in 1938 and originally published in newspaper format, but is now published as a magazine. (wikipedia)

1974 March 20

Vol. 37 No. 3


Overnite Sensation: Frank Zappa. RS 2149
By Graeme Simpson, p 17

I hope Frank makes it to New Zealand sometime. Hell, imagine a 20 minute stage jam around "Fifty-Fifty" and it's not even the best track on the album. But it does feature some scorching lead riffs by the man himself. And the shrieking demented electric violin of Jean-Luc Ponty.

And always Zappa's absurd lyrics: sleazy as grease-back hair. As ever. "Kiss my aura, Dora... MMM...its real angora".

Around the solid wall of sound laid down by Tom Fowler, bass, and Ralph Humphrey, drums, Zappa's most beautiful Mothers place a variety of musical interjection and embellishment. George Duke, apart from expressive piano and organ, uses his synthesizer to its full extent, the moog being pushed to the front, particularly on "Fifty-Fifty" and "Montana". The latter track is brilliant: truly the highlight, truly insane. Raise a crop of dental floss? Zircon encrusted tweezers? Christ!

The other members of the band: Ruth Underwood, Ian Underwood, Bruce Fowler, and Sal Marquez, and vocal assistants Ricky Lancelotti and Kin Vassy (Yippy-Ty-O) all contribute to the most listenable of Zappa;s recent albums.

Perhaps die hard Zappaphiles will feel Frank's selling them out: "Overnije Sensation" is more commercial and avoids the wierdness of previous Zappa albums. But the humour, the musical and lyrical satire, the sexuality and sheer enjoyment of the music is all there. It's a neat album, which deserves an attentive listen. Will it sell?

I figure the odds be fifty-fifty. . .