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World Music CD Reviews North American

Sean Noonan's Brewed By Noon

By Robert Kaye
Published October 16, 2008

Boxing Dreams

In today’s music industry, overt commercialism and pop paparazzism often run rampant. The world music genre, unfortunately, has also been adversely affected by such P.R. ploys and sonic shenanigans. This is not the case on Sean Noonan's Boxing Dreams. The album reflects the drummer/percussionist/composer’s fervent eclectic interests. Noonan and his mates incorporate elements of heavy rock, West African griot, Celtic melodies, avant-garde, punk, funk and other edgy influences. Prearranged cacophony is often the backbone of many songs, thundered by Noonan’s able drumming and from Aram Bajakian’s and Marc Ribot’s roaring electric guitars. The title track, “Boxing Dreams,” is reminiscent of some of the emboldened, pensive improvisations by the ’72-’75 King Crimson line-up, although Noonan’s tune features African chants. This segues into “Couráge,” a still brooding, yet more upbeat number with Gaelic and African chanting. This is an ambitious project: It may be too “out there” for a few listeners, whereas others will delight in Noonan’s sinewy songwriting.