Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Of Natural History (CD)
Appearing on the one hand to be a post-modern apocalyptic cult, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum delight in setting folksy allegorical tales of auto-genocide and the species-wide doom we all face to breathtakingly strange and compelling music. With this release, their musical method evolves, as natural things do, and delivers what can only be described as a complete and thoroughly devastating musical expression. With their dense, harmonic compositions and jagged, intricate rhythms (by far the best in the business on both counts) servicing the artistic equivalent of a Unabomber tract set to music, the music collected in Of Natural History sets a serious high water mark for future generations to look back on in awe-- assuming future generations ever exist, that is. SGM's impressive instrumental array includes many homemade devices suggestive of the avant-garde. Having little in common with those who have marred the field, whether mere arty obscurists, jock-like musical gymnasts, or high-brow snoots, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum are thoroughgoing populists, warmly regarding their varied audience and skillfully embracing their role as entertainers. Even though the band boasts heavy-hitters like Carla Kihlstedt (Tin Hat Trio, Carla Bozulich) and Nils Frykdahl of Faun Fables, this is a band that survives and thrives supremely through heavy touring, and in the process has amassed a devoted following. For a band that owes as much to Meshuggah as they do to the Art Bears, Messiaen, and Einsturzende Neubauten, their skewed exhumation of Futurism in reverse strikes a broad nerve and fills a big void. This is a proud moment for Mimicry Records.