Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 

Textbeak

Sick for Songs a Season Eats

Review by Gary Hill

This probably doesn't really qualify as progressive rock. There is little to no rock music here at all. It's mostly electronic and techno styled stuff. The thing is, there is enough of an artsy quality to put it under art rock. When you add in the fact that there is also a healthy helping of space rock built into it, landing it under prog seems obvious. Comparisons to Kraftwerk are sometimes valid. This is dark, science fiction oriented, tastefully strange and very cool.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Legion_err
Coming in atmospheric, this is trippy and a bit on the freaky side. It's dark and grows outward very gradually with an almost psychotic vibe to it. By around the minute a half mark EDM seems to merge with a space rock element. The cut drifts forward that way with an understated vocal line bringing a rather techno element to it. There is a subtle "Star Trek" reference in the lyrics on this. A full mellow electronic movement takes it later.
All is War
Electronically processed spoken vocals are heard at the beginning of this. Some atmospherics are heard along with more of those voices. Then it turns percussive with echoed sound bites in the mix. As the cut grows outward it becomes a very artificial and trippy bit of space music. The vocals are all processed in such a way as to make them sound alien and artificial. There are some intriguing shifts built into this thing. Around the four and a half minute mark there is a voice that makes me think of Davros from "Doctor Who." The dropped back segment that serves as the backdrop for it ends the piece.
Chimera
Dark and synthetic, this is another freaky sort of cut. It works forward with a driving kind of mode. This builds out to something quite freaky that merges space music with techno and industrial sounds.
Melting Mind
More freaky electronic textures are on display here. This has a lot of techno sounds. The vocal makes me think of Hawkwind a bit for some reason. The keyboard elements are cool, too. Comparisons to The Residents are appropriate on this piece.
Forever Now
I love the echoey voices on this piece. The whole track has a real otherworldly kind of electronic vibe to it. Yet there is a techno/industrial edge to it, too. By around the half way mark it has worked out to something that makes me think of the more electronic side of Hawkwind.
Information Medicine
There is a real science fiction vibe to this cut. It has electronic elements along with spoken vocals alternated with some distorted sung ones that call to mind Daleks. This is so cool. It is somehow one of the most mainstream things here, but it's also very odd in its own ways. It is dark and dramatic.
Dead Seasons
More weird electronics bring this into being. It drops back to some mellower sounds for a distorted spoken vocal movement. There is a lot of Kraftwerk built into this piece.
Soft Paranoia
Electronic science-fiction based sounds are the order of business here. While this does feel paranoid and trippy, it manages to have a bit of a groove, too. As it powers up later it gets more techno oriented, but really the whole cut feels quite space rock like in a lot of ways. The spoken voices on this track really add a lot.
Vacuum Decay
Very electronic in nature, this reminds me of machines trying to groove. The vocals (female) come in over the top lending an organic nature and a real artistic edge. I really dig the trippy, spacey electronics on this cut.
Blood Storm
Atmospheric textures with weird processed speaking is on the agenda here. Then after the minute and a half mark it explodes into more pounding, rocking industrial styled sounds. Some female vocals are heard in the mix as this drives forward. It's another point on the album where I'm reminded a bit of The Residents. This is decidedly odd, but also one of the most purely rock based things here. It gets mellower again near the end. This is arguably the most dynamic thing here. At over seven minutes of music, it's also the longest.
Gravity Well
There is a bit of a driving electronic vibe to this cut. While this more pure EDM, there are still plenty of space elements here. There is a trippy kind of artsy dropped back movement built into it, too.
We Are the Jaguars
Dramatic science-fiction oriented stuff drives this cut. It has a darkness to it as the female spoken vocal is almost clean in terms of production. Some more mainstream sung vocals join further down the musical road. By the time they do the production has been built up into lusher, more powerful territory and the spoken section has dropped back to an echoed, repeating loop sort of in the backdrop. That loop creates the main emphasis of the ending bit, though.
Pressure Tank
There are some symphonic elements in this cut as it builds outward. There are also hints of things like Curved Air, but overall this is electronic space rock styled music. A more insistent groove enters further down the road and starts to dominate.
The (W) Hole
An evil sounding voice is heard over the opening atmospherics here. Freaky sonic elements are heard making this feel menacing. The bits of spoken voice add to that. This seems like something that could be part of a weird horror film. It's about three and a half minutes in before this start to resemble actually music. It rises up with a weird electronic texture that would still be at home in a horror film. This gets to more oddities beyond that, though. This is clearly the strangest thing here.
 
Return
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2018 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com