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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

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Figglesnout
2 stars Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Grand Opening And Closing

This debut from Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, while sometimes good, merely hints at the awesomeness that would be mastered and fully realized on the follow up "Of Natural History". On this album, the listener is treated with mostly bland songs that focus too much on their avant quirks and too little on their actual structures and deliveries. The overall result is an album held hostage, the album that could have been. Disappointing, surely, but still not wholly unnecessary. While sometimes bland and repetitive, "Grand Opening and Closing" certainly has some good moments, and good hints at what this band would become with later releases.

Now, the music:

The problem, in terms of quality, on this album lies mostly with pacing and organization, although certainly there are a few mediocre tracks that help this along. The album feels much less like an actual album, and much more like a collection of songs or EPs, which it likely is, considering that it is but a debut. Promising at times, conventional at others (this word is not at all a compliment to an album that is supposed to be pushing boundaries in the avant-garde). Many praise the opener, "Sleep Is Wrong", which I feel is rather bland and faceless, especially when stacked up against the two following tracks, "Ambugaton" and "Ablutions", which, incidentally, both begin with the letter "A," which hints towards the quality of these tracks.

The album is just faced with too many blunders to work well, especially when clocking in at nearly an hour in length. It is too clunky and boringly paced to merit full listens, and the tracks are mostly too mediocre to hold much interest beyond a few minutes. The train of thought on this album is all over the place, one could say, and the lack of focus--something that can pay off in some avant music--does little but hold this one back even further.

Some relief is present in moments in tracks like "Powerless" and "Sleepytime", but the concluding minutes of "Sunflower" just seem awkward and overlong, a testament that serves rather well in summing up what this whole album seems to achieve.

It is probably not as bad as I am making it out to be, but when compared with "Of Natural History" and even the lesser "In Glorious Times" it wilts solemnly and goes to hide itself in a corner. Worth the buy for fans alone, and therefore worth 2 stars.

Figglesnout | 2/5 |

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