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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times CD (album) cover

IN GLORIOUS TIMES

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.83 | 103 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars I was out browsing stacks the other day and picked up two new CDs: Polyphonic Spree’s ‘The Fragile Army’ and this album. The Spree CD included a DVD, while this one didn’t.

Now, while I wouldn’t mind seeing the Spree in concert, I don’t rank it among my higher aspirations in life. They’re fairly predictable even if their current album is surprisingly edgy for our favorite little Texas cult. But I would have much preferred that Tim DeLaughter spared me his histrionics and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum shown me theirs instead. Like their ancestors Idiot Flesh these guys really have to be seen to be appreciated, although I’m not sure if they are supposed to be taken seriously. I guess probably not.

These guys are a little more coherent than Idiot Flesh, but not by much. The opening “the Companions” is a ranging, intense work that shows the band hasn’t slipped into any kind of predictable pattern yet. “Helpless Corpses Enactment” is another change-up, very heavy and almost metal.

The most interesting work comes pretty early with “Formicary”, a blend of almost wistful vocals from Carla Kihlstedt with a disjointed cacophony of unidentifiable sounds that sometimes sound like music; while “Ossuary” goes heavy again with some throaty growling and painfully harsh violin.

Anyway, if you’ve ever heard these guys you know that this isn’t the kind of music that can be easily critiqued. The stuff is all over the place, rarely wanders into a range of anything resembling most other music you’ve ever heard, and sometimes even sounds like noise for the sake of making noise (which of course is really what it is).

I can picture “The Only Dance” performed live with marionettes on stilts, musicians wandering about the stage in dull white hospital gowns and painted faces, and flashing lights piercing the darkness. That’s probably how it gets delivered in concert I would imagine, and followed by “The Greenless Wreath” as a mad-ranting dirge of agony. This stuff really takes time to digest, and I probably will end up revisiting this review in several months or years and fleshing it out some.

But in the meantime I’ll just say that if you are looking for something very, very different, check these guys out. I don’t have any of their other albums, but I don’t need to to know that they probably are just as raw and calculated as this one.

Not for the faint of heart, and would never be mistaken for anything resembling a classic vision of progressive music. But worth picking up anyway, and easily four stars just for the effort and the fresh sound.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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