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PLATYPUS

Progressive Metal • United States


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Platypus biography
Founded in 1997 - Transmuted into "THE JELLY JAM " in 2001

PLATYPUS is a side project formed in 1998 by Ty TABOR (KING'S X, JUGHEAD, THE JELLY JAM) with Derek SHERINIAN, John MYUNG (DREAM THEATER) and Rod MORGENSTEIN (DIXIE DREGS, WINGER and the RUDESS MORGENSTEIN PROJECT.) Fans of all the mentioned bands are sure to enjoy them. The play a micxture of instrumental and vocal tunes straying between rock and prog. They actually tend to sound a bit like UK at times.

There are two CD's available "When Pus Comes To Shove" and "Icecycles". Both are worthy efforts. "When Pus Comes To Shove" is very stylistically varied whilst "Icecycles" is a more consistant effort.

Fan's of KING'S X will definitely like this a lot and the standard of musicianship and songwriting is of a very high caliber. The playing is tight and focused and serves the tunes first. Fans of DREAM THEATER should be aware not to expect the manic chops fest and sometimes mindless noodling typical of DREAM THEATER although the playing is still great. Both CD's are highly recommended. PLATYPUS has now morphed into THE JELLY JAM with the departure of Derek Sherinian.

: : : Mark Jordan, AUSTRALIA : : :

See also:
- HERE
- DREAM THEATER
- KING'S X

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PLATYPUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 38 ratings
When Pus Comes To Shove
1998
3.32 | 46 ratings
Ice Cycles
2000

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PLATYPUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ice Cycles by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 46 ratings

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Ice Cycles
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I am a big fan of the debut album by Platypus, 'When Pus Comes To Shove', so I was pleased indeed to receive the follow-up 'Ice Cycles'. Platypus was formed by bassist John Myung (Dream Theater), Kings X guitarist and vocalist Ty Tabor, keyboard player Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Kiss etc.) and drummer Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs, Winger). While not as Beatlesque as the debut, this is an equally as impressive album with some great pop moments.

Although these guys can all blast away or prog with the best of them, it is for pure pop combined with rock and great songs that they are renowned. Although as they prove in the closing instrumental "Partial To The Bean", which is over ten minutes long, they haven't lost sight of their day jobs. By the way. that song is divided into seven parts, "Intro Pompatous", "Yoko Ono", "Yoko Two- No", "Yoko Three-No", "Platmosis", "Yoko Againo" and "Yoko Outro". That isn't the only instrumental either with "25" showing that great rock numbers don't needs words as an instrument can quite easily carry the melody line.

On "Cry" they can even make the listener believe that Tony Iommi is involved with the project as they kick off with some great "Iron Man"-style riffs. Another great album which has plenty for the music lover.

Originally appeared in Feedback #57

 When Pus Comes To Shove by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.42 | 38 ratings

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When Pus Comes To Shove
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by jampa17
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When you put together one of the best drummers of the last 30 years, one of the most impressive bass players of the last 20 years, one heavy and aggressive keyboard player and one very good but average guitar player, what's the result? Platypus, an unexpected side project and pretty hard to describe but the music at the end worth the listening, for sure.

I've seen other reviews and my theory gets confirmed. This is maybe the most overlooked side project from DT members. I think the problem is that the music style at the end doesn't sound like The Dixie Dregs or Dream Theater or even Planet X, it sounds more close to King X alternative prog style. Well, that's more evident in their second album. In this particular one, there are a lot more jazzy progressive elements but the focus are the catchy songs and the light side of things.

You can trust on the quality and technique of the musicians for sure, the performance is impressive and in a total control of basically, everything. Now, while in this album the instrumental and prominently progressive songs are quite good, I think the most pleasing "progress" in this side project is the alternative side of songs. Hearing Rod Morgenstein playing alternative rock is quite a delight, while the vocals of Ty made the album very catchy and fresh. Nothing to say about Myung who, in contrary to what many people said all the time, I always feel that Myung gives the right doses of power and strength and I insist, the bass doesn't have to be in front of the mix all the time. He did a great job and we all know that he is capable to play fast as any and be very moody and dark when he wants to. Sherinian, while I admire his solo career and side projects, I think in some of the songs he got too much, too heavy and too loud for the style of the songs. When he lies back a little he makes a better job, like in songs like NOTHING TO SAY and I'M WITH YOU.

I found the album quite interesting, sometimes getting very jazzy, maybe too much and sometimes keeping things very brief and easy in a very alternative way. I think it's kind of difficult if this kind of diversity is good or if would be better to have less different songs. I'm not sure. I'm sure that I'm enjoying this album because it's a rare approach from what you can expect of these impressive musicians.

Prog rock is about experimenting with different tastes and sounds. Well, here is your chance to hear something very nice and different. I think any Porcupine Tree/Dredg/King X fan could like this a lot. 3.5 stars. It's a good album, maybe not essential, but it's pretty good and you can be sure to enjoy the music, which is what music is about.

 Ice Cycles by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 46 ratings

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Ice Cycles
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by jampa17
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Strange this world is, when in a prog forum there are many alternative rock bands very popular and highly rated but some projects, maybe with more progressive arguments, tend to be overlooked and in the case of Platypus, it's completely unfair.

But well, this project should talk by itself: John Myung (Dream Theater), Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs), Derek Sherinian (Planet X) and Ty Tabor (King X). This top list of musicians made an interesting twist: composing alternative rock with some flashes of intricate prog, but very brief. Maybe it's that the fans of the first three bands mentioned expected more instrumental stuff but they sound more like King X, the least prog act of them. What I found interesting is that this project sounds like the heavy era of Porcupine Tree but better, more musical and more catchy at the same time.

You can't doubt the quality of the musicians and their performances, it's almost perfect. The songs are catchy and alternative, which is nice to fresh things up, and the vocals of Ty made it more catchy and nice. Good keyboard solos and some guitar solos as well, but the focus is to make songs interesting rather to do an exhibition of techniques. The result is very nice and without being plain alternative rock, they don't pretend to play intricate music, just to pass a great time. The album is pretty short and it's nice, check the mini epic Partial to the Bean composed by 7 parts, but all the album is good, fresh and entertaining.

I recommend this album to any King X fans, but it can work for either PT fans (which there are thousands out there) or even Oceansize fans. Don't overlook this album, you could be missing some nice music. 3 stars, good album.

 Ice Cycles by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 46 ratings

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Ice Cycles
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Not the best album to be reviewing on Halloween night I suppose. Bad planning on my part although I did play UNIVERS ZERO's "Heresie" and ART ZOYD's "Nosferatu" tonight while giving out treats. This is PLATYPUS' second album and it has a strong KINGS X flavour at times with Ty Tabor singing, playing lead guitar and writing all the lyrics. This sure doesn't have the prominant bass that KINGS X has though. I'm not sure why Myung's bass always seems lost in the sound of whatever band I hear him in. His ex-DREAM THEATER bandmate keyboardist Derek Sherinian is here along with former DIXIE DREGS drummer Rod Morgenstein.

"Oh God" opens with keys as a heavy sound eventually comes in. Vocals before a minute. Nice guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. Good song with some great lyrics. "Better Left Unsaid" is again a relaxed yet powerful sounding tune. Some organ in this one as well. It gets heavy late. "The Tower" opens with drums as guitar then organ joins in. Vocals follow. I like the guitar 2 minutes in. "Cry" is the heaviest tune yet. Again the tempo is mid-paced at best. "I Need You" is another laid back but somewhat heavy song.

"25" is the first track where they let loose.The guitar and organ are outstanding here. "Gone" opens with some atmosphere that floats in. The song kicks in around 2 minutes. I like the meaningful lyrics on this one. A touching track. "Partial To The Bean (A Tragic American Quintogy)" is the closing 10 1/2 minute suite that is divided into 7 short songs. Some heavy Fusion early followed by a relaxing section on parts 3 and 4. The sixth part has some energy before it closes out in a laid back way.

3.5 stars. I really like this album perhaps in part because of Ty's involvement and he has the most promiant role. KING'S X fans should give this a listen.

 Ice Cycles by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 46 ratings

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Ice Cycles
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Platypus is an american band who is I think the least known band where are DT members involved. This is their second album from 2000 named Ice Cycles. To tell you the truth this was quite dissapointing when I've heared this album first time, 4 years ago. While the line up is top notch, Myung on bass from Dream Theater, Ty Tabor on vocals and guitar from King's X, Derek Sherinian keys and on drums the excellent Rod Morgenstein from Dixie Dregs fame, so solid and intristing line up. It ws very intristing to me to discover that they don't sound like DT, Dixie Dregs od DS solo albums or Planet X, but is close to what King's X does for some years now, and I think Tabor is responsable for this sound and the path the pieces took on this album. Well, the album is not entirely bad, but, the first 5 tracks sounds to me like post grundge and alternative music, without any trace of progressive metal as is said in the description of the band, I don't hear at all any Derek Sherinian crunchy key works here, or the excellent bass lines that made Myung famous on DT, is more close to what Alice in Chains or Soundgarden, or even King's X to some point did 15 years ago, so not entirely bad, but I was expecting something elese, more complex or more up tempo music with nice arrangement. From piece 6 named 25, I beggin to talk about a serious improvement here, is like I'm listning to a lot diffrent album, but surprise is the same Ice cycles from the first note. From here, from track called 25 I can talk about progressive metal, the piece like the rest that will come are more complex, more tight, not the same alternative sound here, in places sounds like some parts from Derek Sherinian solo albums, lush keys and solid musicianship overall. The Yoko parts are quite intristing and realy pleasent as a whole, here the musicians deserve the name of masters as we know them from their mother bands, sometimes the passages remind me of OSI (another band or project of a famous keybordist who was in DT). So overall a not so intristing album but not realy bad either, but this is not the music I want to hear very often, even they are labeled as progressive metal, they not realy close to my taste. I will be quite drastic on this album, the musicians are ok, but the pieces are not so well developed to became more then a couple of spins album.2.5 stars, fans only.

 Ice Cycles by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 46 ratings

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Ice Cycles
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by The T
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars This is a case where the parts are better than the sum of them.

I don't agree with the previous reviews of this album. As much as I like (and love) some of the bands these musicians come from, the result was far more dissapointing than I expected it to be (few supergroups actually work, especially when there's not a clear head.)

Maybe the problem (for me) is that the band actually sounds more like the band I like the least out of the big variety groups these musicians come from. This band doesn't sound much like DREAM THEATER, doesn't sound much like PLANET X, doesn't sound much like WINGER or DIXIE DREGS. I know, it's perfect for a band to have a unique sound, to be original, but oftentimes supergroups tend to be closer in style to one or two bands. And in this case, PLATYPUS' music bares similarities with that of KING'S X, an outfit I've never cared much for due to their simple, hook-less, bland music.

And that's what gets me from Ice Cycles: the lack of any really memorable melodies or choruses, the inability by the band members to produce anything that's worth trying to memorize. The music is hard- rock at its simplest, with only a few scattered attempts at showing a little bit of the potential of each band member. Myung's bass is simple, Morgenstein's drumming is ordinary, Sherinian's keys are mundane (even though at times he's the shiniest musician in this record), and Tabor's guitar is just competent. The best moment in the album is the instrumental 25 and parts of the last short-epic Quintology. The rest is as forgettable as many other supergroup albums that never quite reach the heights we expect them to reach, sometimes naively.

Recommended for fans of simple hard rock.

 When Pus Comes To Shove by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.42 | 38 ratings

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When Pus Comes To Shove
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by martinprog77

4 stars PLATYPUS When Pus Comes To Shove , what an album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!iam really impress .every song is fantastic .from opener Standing In Line to blussy Blue Plate Special .from frenetic Rock Balls/Destination Unknown to What About The Merch? .everybody shines . Ty Tabor guitar is magical and his vocal beatles styles is great.Rod Morgenstein /John Myung mega power rhythm is fantastic.Derek Sherinian is out of this world [jordan just listen and learn ]this super gruop create something that is better that most of their albums of their full time bands .

Excellent addition to any prog music collection ..i couldn't agree more !!!!!

 Ice Cycles by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 46 ratings

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Ice Cycles
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by blunt

4 stars Comes across as very much a Kings X sound with a bit of darkness in the riffing. Very enjoyable listen. Needs a few listens like any decent prog release. Recommended for any Kings X fan and those Alice In Chains fans that miss those slow appeggiated riffs.
 Ice Cycles by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.32 | 46 ratings

BUY
Ice Cycles
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by kunangkunangku
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Names make news, journalists say. In my case, regarding Platypus: names make wonder. What else could you expect to happen knowing that Dream Theater bassist John Myung, ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and Steve Morse Band drummer Rod Morgenstein join guitarist Ty Tabor (King's X) to play together in a band? So I bought this CD, their second effort.

And it's not bad. The songs are great -- in fact the song is where the band put the focus on. The band compose and arrange songs by combining classic rock, progressive rock, heavy metal, even alternative to produce a totally unique sound -- in most cases it also means catchy tunes. Songs like "Oh God", "Better Left Unsaid" and "The Tower" properly exposing this. In doing so they never actually left their individual characters to which fans have been familiar with, so it won't be surprising if there seems to be reminiscent of the members' original bands. Take "25" as an example.

This album is for those who would be happy to always widen their musical horizon. Great, yet not perfect.

 When Pus Comes To Shove by PLATYPUS album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.42 | 38 ratings

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When Pus Comes To Shove
Platypus Progressive Metal

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars When this album came out in 1999, I was so curious to see how the combination of work among these musicians would sound like: an acrobatic drummer Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs), a talented bass guitar player John Myung (Dream Theater) and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater). By the time I did not know about Ty Tabor. For Myung and Sherinian of course we all know well in DT. The first spin, especially first track, made me confused about the music as probably I was expecting something truly prog that I could not get it immediately. Then I tried couple spins and removing my expectation of being prog or not, just enjoyed the music. And this is my view about this album .

"Standing In Line" is a straight forward hard rock song composed in relatively fast speed with a high driving rhythm section dominated by Sherinian's keyboard's work . Great guitar work: as rhythm section or solo that accompanies vocal line. It's an uplifting mood track especially when guitar takes its short solo in the middle of the song; with some flavor of southern rock. You would presumably need this track to elevate your emotion when gearing up to work or feeling down . or that sort of thing, basically. It's rocking the world man!

"Nothing To Say" offers a kind of break after hearing a rocking track. It's a mellow track with a blues based rhythm section characterized by bass guitar and guitar work. Keyboard fills in beautifully in this track. The song reminds me to the classic rock tunes of the 70s, composed with a modern sound. Ty Tabor sings nicely in classic rock style.

"Rock Balls / Destination Unknown" is opened with a dazzling drum work by Rod Morgenstein. Oh . what a wonderful opening piece man! It's an acrobatic drumming, I guess. It continues with a duo sounds play the same notes from guitar and guitar.There are a lot of short drum solo in transition segments between guitar and keyboard solo. Myung's bass guitar work plays dominant role as rhythm section. The song has some tempo changes as well as transition to quieter passages. The long sustain guitar solo is stunning. This track is excellent!

"Platt Opus" opens smoothly with a piano touch followed with full music led by keyboard / piano with some classical music influence. The intertwining sounds between guitar, bass guitar and keyboard is wonderful. The drum beats indicate the jazz influence for this track. Again, Ty Tabor demonstrates his great long sustain guitar solo augmented with piano and acrobatic drumming. Rod, you did a great job in this record! I really enjoy the drumming solo performed long enough in the transition pieces!

"I'm With You"'s rhythm section is characterized by organ/keyboard and guitar as main rhythm section. When voice line enters, the organ and guitar forms a soft riffs that later is augmented with dynamic drum work. Guitar solo is stunning. This song is blues based and it revolves around the seventies rock music - classic rock. The organ solo that appears at the end of the song is excellent!

"Blue Plate Special" is rather a jazz-fusion kind of song with great combination of keyboard and guitar works performed in a medium tempo. The music flows in relatively flat manner where there are minimum high and low points. But still . it's an enjoyable track.

"Chimes" starts with a nice piano solo followed with bass and keyboard work in mellow style. It's a jazz influenced track. Drums only involved at the end of the track. Nothing special about this track - for my personal taste; it's too flat, I think.

The music returns back to an upbeat tempo mood with "Willie Brown" which actually is a blues rock music with guitar as main rhythm augmented with piano work. The singing style is excellent. Starting in the middle of the track onwards, the music gives a stunning keyboard solo with a sudden tempo change into a faster style featuring guitar solo. It's a rocking style! It reminds me to the 70's blues rock band like Led Zeppelin. One of my favorite tracks.

"Bye Bye" is a mellow track in a blues rock style; the guitar work reminds me to bands like Bad Company. The long sustain guitar solo by Ty in the middle of the track has enriched the texture of this track.

"What About The Merch?" is an uplifting song that reminds me to the music of Beck, Appice and Bogart in the seventies. Yeah, I think the intro part reminds me to the song "Superstition" performed live by the trio sometimes dated back in the 70s. But this track is purely instrumental one with a great harmony of multiple solos: guitar, organ / clavinet augmented with dynamic drumming and great bass line. It's a very enjoyable track, especially if you appreciate the classic rock music.

Overall, I would rate this album with a 3.5 stars. Some tracks are truly excellent ones. But on musicianship, they are all great musicians! I do enjoy this album very much. - Keep on rocking! Keep on progging!

Yours progressively

GW - Indonesia

Note:

I was triggered to write this review in relation to John Myung's appearance in Jakarta for YAMAHA Bass Clinic in 25 Feb 2005 and ASIAN BEAT 2004 Grand Final Asia in 26 Feb 2005 where Mr. Myung will be one of the judges. Well, I cannot wait to see one of my favorite bass player! This is the second time Myung visit Indonesia. Yeah, I will be there, Mr. Myung! The proceeds of the ticket sales will be donated for Tsunami victims in Aceh, Indonesia. Hey c'mon prog heads; I haven't heard any of you are planning to do a concert for tsunami in my country. How come? A lot of international jazz/ pop artists (James Brown, Incognito, Jeff Lorber, George Duke, etc. etc.) will do a charity concert in Jakarta for three days in a row, March 2005. What about prog man??? How prog are you?

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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