Opposite Day — Space Taste Race Part 2
(Future Banana Replacement FB, 2015, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-09-08
The diversity of Austin’s progressive rock scene continues to amaze me. No two of these bands sound similar. Opposite Day have been around for quite some time and on September 11, 2015 they release their sixth full-length album, Space Taste Race Part 2, the follow up to their Space Taste Race Part 1 EP released in 2012. Space Taste Race Part 2 is a concept album centered around Earth-based exploration of the Milky Way galaxy. But do not expect a cosmic music excursion like Klaus Schulze or Hawkwind. Instead the trio of Sam Arnold (guitars and lead vocals), Greg Yancey (bass and vocals), and Pat Kennedy (drums and percussion) churn out a sonic assault of bass-driven raucous dissonance flirting with RIO and art-rock. There are times that Opposite Day’s complex interactions and rhythms remind me of Present. And of course Greg’s excellent bass work draws immediate comparisons to Les Claypool and Primus. Over the course of 41 minutes, Opposite Day takes you through 15 songs. Unfortunately there is not a lot of diversity between most of the songs, after a while the bass riffing starts to wear thin. The song titles are quite intelligent. For example the opening song is “Drake Equation.” A little bit of research will show that the Drake Equation is a probabilistic argument for arriving at an estimate of the number of actively communicating civilizations in the Milky Way. The songs that drew my attention were the final five tracks: “The Revolution of the Soul Force,” “Airtight Chariot,” “Fictional Astrobiology,” “Tentacles Pull down the Sky,” and “Theia.” In my opinion, “Tentacles Pull down the Sky” is the best song on the disc. Sam plays some masterful guitar on this ballad that verges on glissando guitar. So, by all means, make an effort to explore the richness of Austin’s bands.
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more