Triclops! - Out Of Africa
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Triclops!
Out Of Africa

Comprised of various members of four different SF Bay Area bands, Triclops is a melting-pot of freaked-out styles, melting together acid, psych, and progressive rock into a bizarre hybrid that's stunning at times and a bit frustrating in others. Unafraid of stomping on a multitude of different pedals, the group seemingly at times runs just about every instrument through some sort of effect, with a result that's dizzying.

Of course, that's also where the possibly frustrating part comes in, as Out Of Africa burns with the same sort of proto-prog, hard rock edge that artists like Mars Volta have been churning out for awhile now. "March Of The Half-Babies" opens things, and the group powers out of the gates quickly, with a rumbling track that is full of massive slabs of huge guitars while vocals are shifted into alien-style squeaks that don't really add anything to the track. "Iraqi Curator" is more effective, opening with a shimmering section that gives way to several gut-punching sections of shape-shifting rock that melts classic-rock guitars and pumping rhythm sections into something that nonetheless feels futuristic.

"Freedom Tickler" is even better, moving in an almost straightforward way with powerful verses that lead into huge choruses that are downright sing-along in execution. Other than a slight phaser on the vocals, the group keeps things fairly straightforward, and the result is easily one of the best songs on the entire release. On the flip side is a song like "Cassava," which blends together strummed-out mellow sections with heavily filtered watery vocals, and a corkscrew construction. Technically, it's stunning, but like a lot of prog-style tracks it leaves the listener wanting a bit. That said, Out Of Africa is a largely fun release that's part throwback and part modern-day. Lyrically, it's paranoid and almost conspiratorial in places, and the quick-turn music keeps pace. Tightly wound and sometimes quite striking, Triclops! largely earns their exclamation point.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2008-03-27 21:02:27