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Omenopus

Compendium of Souvenirs

Review by Gary Hill

I have liked Omenopus since the first time I heard them. I’ve reviewed most of their stuff in the past. This set is a compilation with a lot of alternate versions of songs and a new cover of a Kraftwerk song. I think the set works particularly well, given that these songs weren’t recorded with the intention of putting them all on the same album. I should mention, too, that if you go to the band’s website, you’ll find this disc available for free. It makes a great addition to any Omenopus collection and a great introduction to those who have haven’t heard them before. In the interest of consistency, for the songs I’ve reviewed before, I’ve copied or adapted my reviews of those tracks for use here. 


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
My Secret Ghost (Second Sight)
On the album where this originally appeared, it was two separate songs. They connect together, so it makes sense that here they are put in as one track. First comes “My Secret Ghost.” A real rocking space sound makes up the backdrop for much of this song. Wishart half whispers, half sings. This is a pounding number that’s a big change of pace and a lot of fun. Coming out of the previous movement, “Second Sight” has an active rhythmic pattern and features Wishart in a rather poetic fashion. Around the two minute mark it powers out to more industrial gothic type music.
The Plague Part 1
This starts with backwards tracked sounds. Very mellow and spacey, this is moody and somehow synthetic, yet organic, in tone.
Stand Still
This is a radio edit of the original song. There is a spoken bit that rewords Asimov’s rules of robotics to start this version of the song. Powering in with a drum heavy arrangement, space elements dance over the top. It works out to more pure industrial music as this continues. Still, there are space rock and metal built into the mix. There is a seriously metallic movement later, in fact.
Too Soon
This track is listed as a remastered number. I’m not sure what album it comes from, though. It’s a safe bet that I’ve never reviewed this song before. This comes in with symphonic elements. Space keyboards rise up as it continues, weaving melodic lines of sound. It’s an instrumental that really defines space rock.
Unreasoning In the Whys
Here is a radio edit of the album version of the song. Something akin to metallic space rock opens this and pounds outward. It drops way down for the vocals. There are a number of various sections to this. It’s quite electronic and quite space-oriented. It does contain some distinctly Hawkwind like keyboard sounds.
Drums of War
This is listed as alternative version, but I’m not sure where the original version is. I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed that. Sounds like a needle tracking on a record start this. Then some old fashioned vocals are heard in the distance. Space keyboards rise up to move the piece forward. It gets noisy and rather bombastic as it continues. Acoustic guitar rises up. Some vocals come over the top. It’s like space folk music in a lot of ways. It’s moody and rather dark. It gets more rocking as it continues to plod forward. It works to mellower stuff before the scratched record sound ends it.
Truth & Lies
Listed as a remastered edit, this is a slowly developing and mellow number. It has a gentle texture, a bit like Europop electronica meets Kate Bush. It works out later to a more involved and powered up arrangement for a while, but eventually drops back down to the territory from whence that section came. That powered up movement returns later and it continues this alternating path from there. There is a little instrumental section later that calls to mind Hawkwind’s Hall of the Mountain Grill album just a bit, but blended with a more electronic mode.
The Robots
This is a cover of the song from Kraftwerk. It starts with a short rocking section that’s way beyond the electronic elements of the original. Then it shifts to something that’s quite similar to the original before getting more industrial type sounds added to the mix. They take it into a dreamy kind of interlude before coming back into some seriously industrial type music. Some of the vocals are processed. Given the source material, that makes sense rather than appealing to the whole pop music trend. I love the computerized elements that appear at times. We get a return to the interlude, too. This gets pretty intense, but I think it tends to go on a bit too long.

 

 

 
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