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Trip Lava - Oddball In The Corner Pocket CD (album) cover


Trip Lava


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.57 | 8 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Oddball In The Corner Pocket' - Trip Lava (6/10)

'Oddball In The Corner Pocket' is a musical journey that is quite fresh to my ears. Although I have great respect for the legends of psychedelia and even an invested- albeit limited- interest in some of the more obscure acts who seek to plunge their listeners down the proverbial rabbit hole, multi-instrumentalist Joel Lee's Trip Lava is a band that makes music that I am not all that used to, so I think hearing this has opened up some doors for me. This is the work of one man whose mission statement in music seems to be experimenting with different rhythms, and pulling out different ideas from his subconscious through improvisation. As a result, the music here is very loose, and true to what I anticipated, Trip Lava does get lost in its own self-indulgence from time to time. Despite the inherent feeling of aimlessness that this improvised music gives though, Lee's creative use of textures and arrangement makes 'Oddball In The Corner Pocket' an engaging experience.

What I'm hearing here generally consists of simple acoustic drums, noodlings on guitar, and enough spacey effects to convince Timothy Leary that it's time for rehab. These tracks on 'Oddball' are not necessarily 'songs', but rather running jams where Lee is free to experiment with different textures. Most of these jams get packed into deep grooves, and it tends to create a hypnotic effect. Arguably Lee's greatest strength here is his use of effects and computer wizardry. While the guitars and drums are effective, they are rarely anything special, and the musicianship never really impresses me beyond par. Its his ability to create shimmering walls of sound that gets the magic going for the music here.

Its obvious positive aspects aside, 'Oddball In The Corner Pocket' is a very imperfect album. None of these tracks really compliment each other; instead, it feels like these are mostly a little too alike. There was some decent shock to hear the throbbing bass work and trippy space sounds and flange, but by the end of the album, one becomes a little too familiar with what the album has to offer. For an album calling itself experimental, there is really not much variety on it. The one running sound that Joel Lee has crafted here is really intriguing, but it does feel as if the album could have used a track or two to break up the freak-out jams.

'Oddball In The Corner Pocket' is an uncompromising and strange piece of art, and its made all the more exciting due to my limited experience with any like-sounding music. It is a somewhat rough album, but it delivers what it promises.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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