Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Sunday, 4 September 2016

AN ALBATROSS

BandAN ALBATROSS
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Grind / Noise / Experimental / Art Rock / Psychedelic
Related artistsMoon & Moon, Kill The Man Who Questions, Pink Skull, R.a.m.b.o., The Deadly, The Jai-Alai Savant, Sw!ms, Bedford and Dragon Turtle.
CountryPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania USA
Years Active1999-2009
Song: "Electric Suits & Cowboy Boots"
Album: "Eat Lightning, Shit Thunder"
Year: 2001
For fans ofThe Avenging Disco Godfathers Of Soul, Snack Truck, Mass Movement Of The Moth, Genghis Tron, The Blood Brothers, The Vogue, Soiled Doves, Devola, Dance Disaster Movement, XBXRX, Horse The Band, Usurp Synapse, Ice Hockey, Gas Up Yr Hears!, Campaign Committee, The Hives, The Great Redneck Hope, The Flying Worker and Post Office Gals aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Ace Fu Records / When Humans Attack! / Bloodlink Records / Gold Standard Laboratories / Kitty Play Records / Eyeball Records
This post's artist is from the June 2016 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the August Mix#8 right here or get the new September 2016 Mix#9 here.

AN ALBATROSS was a band I jammed back in the early 2000s when I was first getting into The Blood Brothers. Their mixture of insane screaming, synth and sassy rock/hardcore sound was a relatively new and bizarre take on punk/hardcore/screamo, although now this style has been overplayed as a plethora of other, similar bands popped up after their inception. That's not to say that AN ALBATROSS was the catalyst for this synthy white belt movement, but I'm sure they were near the head of the pack.

Looking over the AN ALBATROSS discography I see that the band had a bit of an issue keeping band members, as the ex-members list is pretty darn long. To be honest, after their second record I lost interest in the band, but will say a few things nonetheless. Their 2001 debut 12" vinyl known as both 'An Albatross' and 'Eat Lightning, Shit Thunder' is 10 songs of bizarre, hyperactive and psychotropic hardcore. The initial recording of "Electric Suits & Cowboy Boots" is fantastic and I'm sure many fans would posit this as the defining AN ALBATROSS song and I'd be hard pressed to disagree. "You Can't Take That Hot Rod With You When You Go" has a synthy circus breakdown at around 40 seconds and is a rompin' good time, albeit short as fuck and "Uncle Funky Pants" is a complete trip, as it consists of fairground organ music combined with dogs snarling and barking. It's kinda fucked up. Other notable songs include "Channel 96" with lots of screamers and "The Great Sarcophagus" which is pretty nuts and Orchid-esque.

'We Are the Lazer Viking' is a straight up mindfuck. Things get freaky fast with the quick opener "I Am the Lazer Viking" followed by the fantastic "Let's Get On With It" goes ballistic almost right away and in less than one minute utilizes everything that makes the band get people goin', including circus synths, grind and screamo. "Electric Suits & Cowboy Boots" is pretty much in line with the original version, save some higher pitched synths, but that awesome breakdown at 24 seconds remains intact and incredible, "The Revolutionary Politics of Dance" is 1:12 of The Flying Worker meets Usurp Synapse and it's pretty fucking sweet and is probably my all-time fave by AN ALBATROSS. Two other noteworthy songs are "The Triumph of the Lazer Viking", which is a crazy track with some nicely placed synths that don't end up being overbearing amidst the cacophonous shrieking, as well as "The Manifesto of the Divine Children" that is a mere 21 seconds yet is somehow able to weave in a kazoo.

In 2004 they did a split 7" with 'XBXRX' and that's when I was like eh. "I Will Swim Into the Lazer Eye" lays more heavily on synths and sound manipulation to the point where I simply don't enjoy it. The vocals in particular are almost unlistenable, but fans of noise and extreme music might be all over this.

Prior to this review I listened to the full albums of both 'Blessphemy (Of The Peace-Beast Feastgiver And The Bear Warp Kumite)' and 'The An Albatross Family Album'. 'Blessphemy' is actually quite decent, with "Lysergically Yours, My Psychedelic Bride" being a very energetic and spastic first "real" song and a shining example of the album, as it really isn't all that different from earlier work. 'The An Albatross Family Album' was the band's final album and opener "Neon Guru" sets things off on the right note with hyperspeed drumming and a more straightforward approach to their batshit crazy sound. "Starving On Rabbit Meat" is a clusterfuck of noise while "3000 Light Years By Way of the Spacehawk" is over six minutes of a myriad of genres, including some orchestral experimentation near the end. "The Hymn of the Angel People" surpasses 11 minutes which is very different for AN ALBATROSS, whose early albums generally house songs from 30 seconds to two minutes. It's also worth noting that a lot (maybe almost half) of their final endeavor is rooted in sassy rock instead of grindy screamo, which is both positive and negative depending on when we're talkin' about.

I'm kinda torn on the band, as I always enjoyed the weirdness of the band, but in retrospect (and especially after watching the crotch-grabbing live video) it seems a bit forced at times. Regardless, a unique and interesting listen that some readers will love. Others will probably hate it, but that's cool.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's 2001-2004 discography in mp3 form.

1999 - Demo EP (anyone have this? please post it!)

2001 - Eat Lightning, Shit Thunder cassette/cd/12"LP

2003 - We Are The Lazer Viking cd/12"LP

2004 - XBXRX split 7"EP

2005 - Freedom Summer Live 4-20-05 12"LP

2006 - Blassphemy (Of The Peace-Beast Feastgiver And The Bear Warp Kumite) cd/12"LP

2008 - The An Albatross Family Album cd/12"LP

2009 - London:Live 12"LP
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(2001) AN ALBATROSS - "You Can't Take That Hot Rod With You When You Go" (from 'Eat Lightning, Shit Thunder')

(2001) AN ALBATROSS - "Uncle Funky Pants" (from 'Eat Lightning, Shit Thunder')

(2001) AN ALBATROSS - "The Great Sarcophagus" (from 'Eat Lightning, Shit Thunder')

(2003) AN ALBATROSS - "The Revolutionary Politics of Dance" (from 'We Are The Lazer Viking')

(2003) AN ALBATROSS - "Let's Get On With It" (from 'We Are The Lazer Viking')

(2003) AN ALBATROSS - "Electric Suits & Cowboy Boots" (from 'We Are The Lazer Viking')

(2004) AN ALBATROSS - "I Will Swim Into the Lazer Eye" (from 'XBXRX' split)

(2006) AN ALBATROSS - full set from Philadelphia - live video

(2006) AN ALBATROSS - full album stream of 'Blassphemy (Of The Peace-Beast Feastgiver And The Bear Warp Kumite)'

(2008) AN ALBATROSS - "Neon Guru" (from 'The An Albatross Family Album')

(2008) AN ALBATROSS - "The Electric Proletariat Rides a Velvet Chariot" (from 'The An Albatross Family Album')

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AN ALBATROSS out of print mp3 2001-2004 discography download

(download here)
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