As Eric Clapton was to the 1960s and early '70s — the preferred guitar specialist everybody wanted on their records — Marc Ribot is to the '90s and beyond. Ribot has applied his elegantly thorny, uniquely noisy style to the albums and bands of Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Zorn, and Tricky.
A wizard with almost any genre, Ribot wanted to do a "rock" record of his own and Ceramic Dog resulted. Throughout Dog, Ribot sprinkles about random riffage evoking Masters of Reality-era Black Sabbath. The disc kicks off with a berserk version of the Doors' "Break on Through" sounding like the late Bo Diddley sitting in with Black Flag, "polished" with that hazy Jesus and Mary Chain production. "Todo El Mundo Es Kitsch" is Ribot's take on — or parody of — the sleek bossa/samba Eurotrash/Continental pop of Stereolab and Stereo Total. (Dig his charmingly blasé vocalizing.) "Digital Handshake" is an aggressive King Crimson-like jam driven by some rippling fuzz-bass and featuring plenty of feverish guitar sustain. MR gets old-school funky with "Pinch," tearing off some thick chunka-wacka licks that'd be right at home on an old album by the Ohio Players, War, or Chic.
Alas, there are a couple tedious songs when Ribot goes a little overboard proving how "zany" and "quirky" he can be (a scenario wherein he's going to have a meal: with my girlfriend/She's really into me/I don't like her). All in all, those craving creatively fractured songcraft with surreal six-string playing will be delighted by adopting Dog. (Pi Recordings)