Review - Hoboken Saturday Night

Artist: The Insect Trust


Any band that "covers" a Moondog song and credits Pynchon as a lyricist must pull their influences from the right places and it's not surprising that this psychedelic conflagration knew from where to draw. Vocalist Nancy Jeffries was an A&R rep for Elektra, and reedsman Robert Palmer would segue into a career as one of America's most respected music journalists and historians. Though the group only recorded two albums (this 1970 disc was their second), their odd mix of folky stomps, off-kilter jazziness and organic insanity gave them a quiet reputation among collectors as a sort of American Incredible String Band. Listening now, it's easy to see why The Insect Trust was overlooked at the time and probably will remain so: The songs are jittery and weird contraptions, blissfully free of genre constraints but bristling with a homespun energy that's less about transcendence than about creative freedom.


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