Formed by Phish
drummer Jon Fishman
as a kind of all-star experiment from local players in Burlington, Pork Tornado
delivers a mismatched set of solo noodles, tight rhythm jams, spacy synth pads, saloon laments -- songs set in styles that have nothing much in common other than the spirit of the musicians as they hopscotch from genre to genre. Their authenticity on country cuts like "Home Is Where You Are" and "Blue Skies" makes it almost impossible to believe that the same guys are responsible for the funk track "Kiss My Black Ass," which they execute with a street energy, crisp backbeat, virtuoso stuttering bass, and collage mentality that reach back to James Brown
for inspiration. There are enigmatic moments as well, which range from Dan Archer
's somewhat stiff solo guitar fragment "Fellini" to a few seconds of Fishman
goofing around on the keys in "Organ." These feel a little gratuitous, but the full-band performances radiate intensity, with plenty of humor -- especially in the very bizarre a cappella "All American" -- adding a good-time twist on top.