An Albatross 

We Are the Lazer Viking (Ace Fu)

Rarely can one glean much from an eight-and-a-half minute CD, but such is the case with the latest from An Albatross. The Dwarves did it to the then-stale Ramones style in the early '90s, bashing out fully formed tunes in under a minute, whole satisfying records in under 15. This Philadelphia band utilizes that brief, blasting concept to reinvigorate the yucky prog-funk freakouts that have always been a dork bore in the hands of Primus, System of a Down, et al.

An Albatross compacts all the fingered bass, syncopated rhythms, screeching vocals, and farfisa-organ circus acrobatics, dispensing with even fleeting thoughts of jamming, thus leaving no time to recognize the embarrassing, medieval heart of this genre. The eye-popping energy puts them in line with contemporary frazzled futurists like the Locust or Lost Sounds. God knows how this will play out live, but it ought to suck the Clearasil right out of the pores. As one of their song titles goes, "Get Faster, Cry for Happy!"

More by Eric Davidson


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