Why Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’ Still Sounds Like Tomorrow

500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Released 50 years ago, on June 16th, 1969, Trout Mask Replica — the third studio album by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band — still sounds like a tomorrow that has not arrived, a music created at a crossroads of sound and language so far distant it continues to defy definitive summation and universal translation. Guitars jut out at improbably severe angles in ice-pick treble, like broken bones slicing through skin. The drumming comes in a rush of agendas, U-turn spasms of loose-limbed time and tempo under melodies which,
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