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George Colligan’s Mad Science: Realization

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George Colligan seems to have all the ingredients for a funky good time on his Mad Science trio’s new disc Realization: his trusty Hammond B3 organ, augmented by various synths and samples; guitarist Tom Guarna and drummer Rodney Holmes, both veterans of combining funk and jazz; nine Colligan originals written for the trio; and a band name that indicates that he’s up to something wacky. The problem lies in those nine originals-most of them don’t have melodies memorable enough to make a listener want to follow them as they are transformed through the standard head-solos-head format.

The title “Human Need” overstates the case for a wanly wistful theme, “Snidely Whiplash” begins with a promising snarl but spools on too long in a way no Dudley Do-Right cartoon ever would and the predictable lurches of “Reminder” make its melody more nagging than evocative. Mad Science fares better the funkier it gets, with the sticky groove of “Goblet of Rock” providing some traction and the headlong rush of “Oblivion” making its melodic material work by not paying much attention to it.