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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Grand Opening And Closing CD (album) cover

GRAND OPENING AND CLOSING

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.71 | 85 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
3 stars This is altogether silly, revolting, offensive, over-the-top, and yet, a wonderful debut album by one of the strangest bands in recent times. Hearing this band, you may question how this is in anyway related to Frank Zappa, the most esteemed musician in this subgenre (and misplaced, if you ask me). But there are, actually, some similarities. Though, unlike Bungle, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum do not jump from genre to genre endlessly, and unlike Zappa, they do not have an addictive jazz feel. Sleepytime do not do anything that could be compared with anyone else. They are wholly unique. This is a band that invents their own home-made instruments, a band that throws in unforeseen, momentary breaks in their song's structure. This is an extremely progressive album, with a massive array of odd sounds and noises passing for music.

The songs are sometimes too chaotic and dirty for immediate enjoyment, but primarily, but after many listens, it is very easy to enjoy every song. They are extremely diverse and constantly captivating tunes. They use a huge amount of unrealistically complex rhythm surprises, along with ridiculous and sometimes purposefully dissonant melodies. Sometimes, the melody actually is quite pretty, but the way they play or sing it, and the instruments playing behind it, make it sound completely chaotic and violent (see Powerless).

The rhythmic experimentations they perform throughout the album are really extraordinary, and very interesting. Ambugaton has a simple rhythm, but as they repeat the melody, the beats land in a different place on the riff. Ambugaton's first half (or so) is very excellent and passive, with great percussion and riffs. Then it changes drastically and turns into a crushing metal song with a catchy and exhilarating riff. At one point, the whole band cuts out and we're left with a single voice shouting the song's name. The band comes streaming back thereafter.

Some of the album is quite relaxing and ambient-like, in stark contrast to the rest. Sleepytime is a nice 'lullaby', with silent melodies and softer instruments. However, just because the song is quieter, doesn't mean that Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is going to hold back with their experimenting. There's a lot of piano that is purposefully played out of key (or so it seems). Sleepytime begins slow, but picks up and turns into one of the best songs on the album. The Miniature is also another quieter song, though it lasts for a mere fifty-seven seconds, and is completely odd (even compared to the rest of the album). Sunflower is another 'lullaby', and it is very odd indeed. It is extremely quiet and meditative in nature (with even traces of minimal music). It doesn't, however, pick up like Sleepytime. It remains silent and closes the album on a jagged and meditative note.

In the end, this is a fantastic album with a pitcherful of creativity and originality. Each song is unique and the band itself is nearly beyond comprehension. This is a fantastic release that is not for everyone, but those who do respect this style of music will love it.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |

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