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Estradasphere - Quadropus CD (album) cover

QUADROPUS

Estradasphere

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.04 | 25 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

cookieacquired
3 stars Can you unscramble an egg?

This is the question Estradasphere has been posed, or at least try to answer, on their Quadropus (with a wicked picture of the green 'pus fellow on the cover). This cover does look cool, and reminds me of some sort of jade ruin stone, or amulet, something epic-looking, yet sinister and mysterious. It is the harbinger of the cover of the album, with Estradasphere trying to de-mystify their traditional hodge-podge of genres.

The result is that, if taken alone, each song can sound semi-serious to its respective genre. Together, they add a whole new dynamic, and they sort of compliment each other. To really have fun with this album, you must hear other Estradasphere and see how much they meld genres, and switch them abruptly in the middle of a song. Otherwise, you might not really get it, in quotes for lack of a better phrase, and then I don't know really how this album'd sound to you.

Anyhoot, individual track time. Actually this section might seem a little vestigial for Quadropus, as the title of each track gives a comprehensive enough description of it. Digressing from that, the album kicks off with Mekapses Yitonisa, which is a Greek/Gypsy Roots/Folk song and also happens to be one of the better tracks of the album. It is very upbeat, and is a style that Estradasphere can do, while still putting their own flair to it. Next up is Dubway, a beat-box experimental techno thingy, with vocal samples. Not very complex, but something I really haven't heard the band do, and if not good, is cool. Then up comes King Krab Battle which contains some smooth sax, and sounds like a jazz version of a battle theme of a video game. It clocks in at 8 and a half minutes, so it's good there's meat to it. Note that was one of the better (if not best) tracks on the album.

Next are a few jazz rock pieces, and that's the point. A few of them. I guess Estradasphere lost that whole, different singular genre each track thing, as these sound all similar, and should've really just been called a suite. I must admit, though Hardball does a feat, in that it seems eternal, like it will go on forever. It's 13 and a half minutes, which I could tolerate, but this song drags on. and on.

On the other side of this long piece is Crystal Blue, which could be my favorite track off the album. It's a surf rock song with all the cliches of the genre. Think Back in the USSR, the song it reminds me a lot of. The soaring guitar, drums, the backing vocals, all work perfectly. Best case scenario for isolating the genres they play.

One of my biggest gripes with not only the album, but the band itself is exemplified in the next two song, and that is this: PLEASE, stop doing that metal, okay? The growling vocals, the crunching guitar, doesn't work for the band. At all. STOP IT.

Finally, Quadropus ends with At Least We'd Have Today, which seems daunting at 9 minutes in length. It starts off as the most trite, frivolous love song with the most banal lyrics ever. And it doesn't develop over the course of the song. At around 4 minutes it ends. Then the obligatory silence, and the bonus track, which is the same song, except the lyrics, while sounding identical, are switched up a bit, to make it funnier. It ends with the most overpronunciation of the word Today I've ever heard. Then more silence, like 2 or 3 minutes worth, then some sound clip, then the end.

I felt underwhelmed, it didn't really work. Some of the songs are great, there are some experiments, and just more of the same with some. The album was also missing Estradasphere's sense of humor for the most part, and that really detracted from it. It seems like they fluffed up the album to increase it's length and that makes it drag a bit. Overall, not a great place to start listening to Estradasphere. For fans of the band however, it's a fine addition once you've got some of their other works.

I couldn't sleep giving it two stars (as it does have some standouts, like Mekapses Yitonisa, King Krab, and Crystal Blue), but four stars seems like waaaaaaaaaaaay too much for it. Three stars is just dandy.

cookieacquired | 3/5 |

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