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The Of — Escape Goat
(Green Monkey GM1029, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-01

Escape Goat Cover artWhen last we tuned in to The Of, they were regaling us with the epic battle of seagull vs crab (or something like that), illustrated by extended Zappa-esque guitar solos. The band’s second album starts out with a dramatic keyboard fanfare, the intro to “It’s a New World.” This ten-minute track takes us through a number of differing sections, including some really warped rock riffing with lyrics about how the world is changing, a cynical take on modern progress. There’s also a left-field diversion into dirty blues, with a warbling harmonica and all; a section with narration about being compelled to obey and consume; and yes, there’s a nutty guitar solo as well. It’s a strange trip, unlike anything another band would be likely to produce. “Damn Dirty Hippie” combines goofy chipmunk voices, a great echoing riff, a great sax solo, and some odd electronic manipulations. The title track is another winner, with sections in different meters, but all fitting together to rock hard. I’m reminded a bit of Captain Beyond’s debut album with some Apostrophe thrown in. In spite of the often haphazard-sounding result, it’s clear that a lot of planning went into this recording, and a lot of imagination unfettered by conventions. The answer to a question like “How should we transition out of the guitar solo?” could involve any number of possibilities, like a sudden fade-out accompanied by sound effects and mangled voices, or maybe an abrupt splice to a completely unrelated bit of music. Unpredictable, imaginative, wacky, and complex are all adjectives that apply. You’ll often say, “Whoa, didn’t see that coming! Cool.”

Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): The Of

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