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The Mighty Vitamins - Take-Out
CD (Lincoln, NE)



-get a good job
-loops and spirals
-stoppages
-turbulence
-celebration
-nakatani
-what a way to go
-marked
-talk that big talk
-39 steps
-april 21




The Mighty Vitamins: Jerry Johnston, Jay Kreimer, Brad Krieger, Luke Polipnick

Reviews:
(The City Weekly 01-24-07) The Mighty Vitamins' new album, "Take-Out" is the latest release from Omaha-based under-the-radar label Public Eyesore Records, which has put out more than 100 releases in the last decade. And the experimental nature of "Take-Out" fits right in with much of the Public Eyesore catalog. The songs don't seem to rely much on predetermined structures, rather they unravel like a conversation between the four people sharing thoughts and ideas - here they are playing musical instruments - subtly influencing one another through their musical ebb and flow. On the first track, "Get a Job," a sporadic buzz spawned from percussion, trumpet and guitar initiate the tone of the album. As a sampled one-sided dialog repeatedly asks, "When are you goin' to get a good job?," the rest of the instruments chime in between the short pauses of the voice. The overall effect is playful and humorous. Next is "Kaw River Suite," four tracks that are curiously called a "dance." But there is no waltzing of side-stepping involved here, just spacious and sleepy droning swells providing a backdrop for a hazy trumpet line to explore. "What a Way to Go" begins with a straight-forward, steady drum beat as mellow frequencies, high and low, create spontaneous and sporadic melodies. "Marked" is along the same line, but with added horns. In both songs, the rhythms and tempos dissolve as the soundscapes progress. The final two tracks might be the only things somewhat "familiar" to many listeners. In "39 Steps" a drum kit pulses along with a walking bass line. This song could be generally labeled as free jazz. The finale, "April 21," Drives forward with a solid rock beat, adding a touch of sampled blues harmonica to the usual batch of chattering instruments. The track then dissolves into a stew of ambiance, and abruptly ends. The occasionally jazzy runs and clean tones suggest that all the musicians are well versed with their particular instruments - and music in general. They are just taking a different approach to organizing and creating sounds than most people. The aesthetic effect of the album is not always easy to chew on; rather than conforming to the boundaries of mainstream pop and traditional jazz, "Take-Out" is a direct reaction against them. Instead of trying to make sense of the chaos in the world, "Take-Out" dances with it, holds it carefully, ties it in a loose knot and then leaves it fending for itself. For someone searching for a musical experience that's out of the ordinary, "Take-Out" could be the ticket - as would most any other Public Eyesore release. Just don't expect the tried-and-true methods of musical expression we are all accustomed to. "Take-Out" and other Public Eyesore releases are available at various Homer's locations. More information available at PublicEyesore.com. - Will Simons

(Foxy Digitalis 3/13/2007) This is a chaotic record that proves not only that you c an hum to anything if you only try and also that the creativity that has overloaded Cleveland made its way to Omaha. Like an updated Devo or Ubu, The Mighty Vitamins splice together electronics, short-sharp guitar lines and Rashid Ali’ drumming, into the perfect backdrop for eavesdropped conversations and drunken manifestos. “Way To Go” and “Marked” are variations on percussion-driven totems made monumental on “39 Steps,” where the bass line trots alongside a big BEAT. “April 21,” the closer, is the most straight-ahead rock tune of the set, but even here the band takes extreme liberties with the format. Public Eyesore is a busy label that has not shied away from the experimental and confrontational. They hit on a goodie with The Mighty Vitamins, who mix humor and bile, chops and curiosity to “Talk The Big Talk,” as one of their songs is titled, and to walk it as well. - Mike Wood

(Sea of Tranquility) So sports one of the zany lines to the opening track "Get a Good Job" on the equally zany album Take Out from The Mighty Vitamins. Like much from the Public Eyesore Records roster, The Mighty Vitamins take melody and structure and throw them out the window, and instead focus on impulse improvisations between members Jerry Johnston, Jay Kreimer, Brad Krieger, and Luke Polipnick. Somewhere between free-jazz and avant-garde, most of these songs are instrumental featuring sax, flute, trumpet, guitar, keyboards, and various types of percussion. At times things are quite chaotic and dissonant, like on "Nakatani" and "What a Way to Go", where it gets hard to separate the noise from what you might call music. Every now and then though The Mighty Vitamins throw a jazzy, proggy piece at you, like the Zappa-ish "Marked", the funky rock of "39 Steps" (which has some almost King Crimson meets Miles Davis elements to it), and the sprawling avant-jazz of "April 21". Fans of the ReR Megacorp roster should really dig this, as well as many of the offerings on the Public Eyesore label, but overall Take Out is pretty demanding and dense stuff, so if melody and order is your thing, the music of The Mighty Vitamims might be a little too claustrophobic for you. - Pete Pardo

(Chain DLK) Never heard anything on Public Eyesore? If the answer is negative take for granted their catalogue is really heterogeneous and is well portrayed by the adjective "weird". If "weirdness" was a religion I can't say if Mighty Vitamins could be “popes” but sure they'll be very important people down there at the Vatican. This improvisational/structureless music with its roots in some american legend like Captain Beefheart (Trout Mask Replika era) and Zappa, but obviously even if following Einstein "Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, all is transformed": you can bet they evolved the original idea of their inspirators. Even if here and there they explode in those characteristic free-jazzy detonations, the quintessence of "Take-Out" is “bluesy” (that's why I think they're so close to the "Captain"), the fact is many times they "remove" where other bands "add" (honour to Miles Davis for having been a mastermind of this philosophy). Sometimes the whole release is much closer to electro-acoustic music than to "improvisational" works, but that has to do with the prudent playing of the musicians. I guess Mighty Vitamins listened numerous releases coming out of the sixties/early seventies since there's a strong psychedelic/oniric atmosphere in their music and that in some way it brings them close to AMM (take a song like "Nakatani" and tell me if Eddie Prevost is or is not the father of a whole generation of unconventional musicians). This release sounds "old" in a positive way but at the same time is incredibly personal, let's say Mighty Vitamins represent for free-electroacoustic-impro music what Jackie O' Motherfucker represent for no-psych-folk. - Andrea Ferraris

(Neo-Zine) Oh wow!!! What a trip. This isn't just improvised music, this is some kind of warped audio theater. They seem to be able to hold a concept or a theme - and the music has some form of consistency. Rare! The music is very chaotic and quirky. There are real instruments played, but it is difficult to even discern exactly what those instruments are, because they are not played in any conventional manner. Many artists who do this sort of thing try to go jazzy or noisy. These guys don't do it quite that way. The music is a very vivid soundscape. There are at least musical components such as melodies and beats. There is a strangeness to it, but it is a vey artistic and abstract strangeness that doesn't really lend itself to any conservative pigeon-holes. There is some light ambient work/ some droney stuff, some outer space psychadelia, a few suprises, and a few spazmodic riffs. Everything still keeps a nice bohemian freeform expansiveness that leaves room for just about anything, while sticking to doing just the right things. I really like it. This recording has some talent, a lot of tact, and some fine taste. Too often improv artists just go off and do way to much, way too loudly/ pitchy, and in far too freaky fashion. These guys just give what it takes to be effective and interesting. You can get through this whole thing without adjusting the volume. It is like sophistoated chaos with an ear for balance and harmony in its musical nihilism. - CHC

(Brainwashed) An initial spin of this album will leave a sense of "what the hell did I just listen to?," but a few more rotations and what's revealed is some of the most spastic of free jazz and a set of music just waiting to have a cartoon accompaniment. emember those really old cartoons from childhood like Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, etc.? Remember how they all had a sort of jazzy backing track that augmented the action oh-so-well? The Mighty Vitamins have updated this for the current millennium, and the resulting freakout is great. The opener "Get a Good Job" establishes the mood for the next 40 odd minutes: a percussion section that sounds sourced from Fred Sanford's junkyard, guitar string abuse that is surely a crime in most states, and dialogue samples right out of a cartoon. Structurally, it doesn’t make much sense, but this blasting opening is followed up by the much more subtle four track "Kaw River Suite," which is based on much of the same instrumentation, but it sounds like someone slipped some Ritalin or Xanax into the boys' kool-aid as their playing is so much more restrained and calm, doing much more "mood" music than anything else. It's not bad at all, but honestly it detracts from the spazz flow of the disc, which really doesn't need any sort of break. Once "Nakatani" gets started again with its shrill sheet metal scrapings and flaming cat howl horns, you know the freakout has begun yet again, which then fails to let up throughout the remainder of the disc, with even some dirty Detroit funk rearing its Parliament-loving head in the massive "39 Steps" and "April 21." Take-Out is not an album for everyone. In most ways it is dissonant, atonal, and insanely chaotic. It shines through these adjectives, however, making for a hyperactive romp that a cartoon mouse could napalm a cat to. Someone see if they can reanimate Mel Blanc's corpse so he can check this out! - Creaig Dunton

(Ampersand Etcetera) The four artists who make up the Mighty Vitamins are obviously multiinstrumentalists as demonstrated by the variation on this album. The opener, Get a good job, is something of a feint as the vocal – a diatribe about getting the eponymous job – is forefronted over spiky instrumentals when you listen through – and the rest of the album is represented by that underlying sound. For the rest of the album toy piano, brass, pedal steel, whistles, xylophones, wheezing electronica and all sorts of other basic instruments (yer percussion, keys, guitar) weave through complex and sometimes edgy, demanding but always fascinating improvisations. Well structured and never less than intriguing, the variation that the Vitamins bring to the instrumental mix make this an absorbing dish. - Jeremy Keens

(Touching Extremes) Expect no less than the totally unexpected from Public Eyesore. The Mighty Vitamins are the quintessential specimen of Bryan Day’s label’s warped poetry; a quartet of multi-instrumentalist, multi-faceted, multi-specialized artists who torture various appliances and machines (including a few “normal” instruments) to generate “songs” in which the oxidation process of intellectual integrity has come to an alarming level - I’d say that it is about to explode into degeneration, but we’re not quite there. If you read the curricula of Jerry Johnston, Jay Kreimer, Brad Krieger and Luke Polipnick you’ll be surprised at how apparently regular folks with a regular job (well, sort of...) and less-than-usual interests can produce such a wealth of lively non-idiomatic improvisations; indeed they perform the task smoothly, at times winking to Captain Beefheart, more often in total, indestructible anarchy. What typically could be considered as disadaptive becomes the rule: guitars sound detuned even when they’re not, children lullabies are tampered into fuzzy rants, voices are disfigured until they behave like ectoplasmatic utterances. The guys are well experienced as far as modern art is concerned, and it shows. The dynamics are at times explosive, the frequencies often mind-wrecking; there is no trace of virtuosity in sight, yet one easily feels that The Mighty Vitamins can play. This group separate their music’s spirit from any predetermined context, all the while allowing their sounds to expand and move according to predestroyed rules. - Massimo Ricci

(Le Son Du Grisli) Sur les pas d’Alterations, évoquant parfois The Recyclers, The Mighty Vitamins (soit : Jerry Johnston, Jay Kreimer, Brad Krieger et Luke Polipnick) mélangent ici les genres : improvisations exaltées, développements las répétant ses mélodies, grands écarts entre expérimentations bruitistes et loisirs plus simplement récréatifs. Sans faire de terribles efforts de production, le groupe fabrique à coups de guitare, trompette, batterie, flûtes et toy piano, un Take-Out à l’intérêt aléatoire mais parfois enivrant. - Guillaume Belhomme


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