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


Sleepytime Gorilla Museum



3.81 | 102 ratings

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4 stars The record opens with a minute that sound like instruments tuning and some vocal excercises, but then enter the drums & bass which lay a synchopated groove, a guitar solo comes in a counterpoint, you are getting ready to listen to an excellent Crimson clone, but something tells you that it'll be a different trip. BANG! What the hell is this industrial nightmare the song turned into? Dissonant guitars soar around, a metal shout comes in yelling about sleep being wrong. The music changes a few times, while repeating the chorus, having male-female duet a few some rocking riffs, quiet and heavy parts, et cetera.

That was the opening song of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's first album 'Grand Opening and Closing'. From there on it goes even crazier. From cliche prog-rock start & stop rhythms to heavy metal to free-form instrumentals with homemade instruments and thrash can percussion, this record never stops blazing with originality, weirdness, humor and energy. Lyrics are generally weird, though might have some metaphoric meaning - hence the rock against rock label or the Art Bears influence.

Particular highlights could be the aforementioned Sleep Is Wrong, the heavy 1997 (Tonight We're Gonna party like It's...), or the symphonic ballad(?) 'Spirit is A Bone'. There isn't much filler here, except the acoustic closer Sunflower.

You may notice that the madness here is more restrained and composed than in Nils Frykdahl's and Dan Rathbun's previous band Idiot Flesh. The production is superb, the playing is tight and the band is highly imaginative.

If you like Mr. Bungle or The Residents you shouldn't be reading those last lines but running and getting this album. For those wondering how this album is compared to 'Of Natural History' - it isn't weaker, perhaps more dynamic and fun. If this music isn't your cup of tea think twice, and listen to a few songs before buying this album, though it is recommended as one of the most original progressive rock albums of this decade.

vogre | 4/5 |


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