Reviewed by MJBrady on 15 Mar 2003
Beer for Dolphins is a fitting name for the style of music which is played by this group of musicians, as they are led by their band leader Mike Keneally through some outlandishly bizzarre music that can only be decribed as heavily Zappa inspired.
Of course many may know of Keneally's association with the late Zappa or may have had a chance to see his amazing abilities as a sideman in Steve Vai's band, doubling on both guitars and keyboards, the instruments he is equally at home with. But it is here with Beer for Dolphins that you can hear him step out into the compositional world, and for the seekers of ambitious, complex, abstract music, you will find a LOT to enjoy on this cd.
No doubt Frank Zappa has inspired Keneally, as the arrangements are every bit as carefully calculated, and twisted as anything Frank left with us. Keneally, also realized that he would need a fantastic ensemble of musicians to bring his music to life, and succeeds with a band that would rival any of Franks historical line-ups.
I dare say that Mike Keneally may actually be a more gifted musician that FZ ever was as both a guitarist and keyboardist, and seemingly he is every bit as skilled a composer, not to take away anything of FZ's contributions as a musical visionary, I am sure that Keneally himself would shy away from such commentary in favor of his mentor. But he is very worthy of these compliments.
Sluggo! does everything that Zappa's music ever did, and more, the humor elements is there, the occasional pop flavor appears. And of course the ultra complex musicianship abounds, as far as what I have heard from this cd, Beer For Dolphins should be on everyones list of cds to get, especially the truest of Zappa styled music fans go.