Initial reaction: I should mention that this was the fourth and BEST tour I've seen! In fact, the best concert I've ever seen, hands down (even beating Aerosmith and Rush)! They played for three hours! I hung out afterwards and got a copy of the set list, and all three guys autographed it! ...And they played Static, which is easily my favorite track on the album!
So, now that it's a couple years old, I should get around to writing this one up:
With solo and side projects allowing them to vent a lot of creative ideas, it may be possible they were running a little short on fresh ideas as a group. I don't mean that as a negative thing, because Skeptical Winds and Vegetable are as good or better than many of their jams on past albums like Pleiades, Picture or Move Me.
But it seems they were just playing around with some loop-based software, and ended up writing half an album around it. That makes this album stick out as distinctively different from the rest of the bands catalog, almost as an experimental side project. Although Yeah and the title track are really cool, Static really stands out for me as the best usage of this technique of song-writing. It slowly builds layer upon layer of simple ideas to emphasize the progression in the lyrics of working through a decision to trust the listener with something very personal. No, it's not specific, but that's not the point.
When I saw this tour, the opening band used a lot of loops live, and I was curious if the band would do the same with this newer material, but instead was treated to reinterpretations of their own songs on live instruments, with Jerry playing the drum parts for each and Ty even doing some odd feedback on Static.
I played this album more relentlessly when I first got it than I did Bulbous, and go back to it more often, so I guess I really "got" these ideas better than that album. Or maybe this just plain rocks more!
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