Thought Industry
Outer Space Is Just A Martini Away


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
June 2nd, 2008 | 22 replies | 6,992 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Thought Industry ditch the metal and focus their sights on creating weird, progressive songs within the context of alternative rock.

I like a lot of alternative music, but find that it quickly becomes boring due to a structure and sound that is largely similar from band to band, and that is why the latter Thought Industry albums were always such a breath of fresh air. For those that don’t know of the band, I could begin this review with a rehash of Thought Industry’s history and then go on and on about how great the first two releases from this band are. I could then gush for hours about the uniqueness and awesome musicianship found on those two progressive metal albums, but it would all be a waste of your time because stylistically those albums have very little bearing on this, their third release. Where the first two were unabashedly metal in nature, the final three albums (this being the first of the three) saw them explore alternative rock but with a complete disregard to any rules or conventions.

There could be many reasons for this sudden stylistic shift, but personnel changes may have had something to do with it. The first original member to jump ship was phenomenal drummer Dustin Donaldson who left the band to concentrate on other musical interests (I am Spoonbender). His replacement, Jared Bryant, is a good drummer but he just doesn’t have the same flair and exciting style that Dustin did. This is also the album where vocalist/bass player Brent Oberlin stopped playing bass and focused on just being the front man. To put this line up adjustment into perspective it would be the equivalent of Les Claypool (Primus) deciding to focus on vocals and bringing in Tom DeLonge (Blink 182) as his replacement on bass. Basically, it’s just a huge step down in the bass department and a decision I always wished they had reconsidered.

Even though I spent the last paragraph outlining the drop in musicianship that the new members brought with them, that is more a reflection of the high standard the original members set more then it is a reflection of any lack of quality on the new guys’ part. The music contained on this album is still great, and the opening track “Love is America Spelled Backwards” proves that by delivering a weird hybrid of Nothingface-era Voivod and The Pixies. The song might initially seem pretty basic with its simple punk-like structure and riffs that seem relatively straight-forward, but additional listens reveal subtle nuances that prove they hadn’t lost their progressive edge, but that it had merely gone underground. Lyrically Brett is still in top form as well, singing about getting drunk with his girlfriend while attending a funeral, culminating in an altercation with the reverend before finally passing out on the body.

Later songs follow the same strategy of using simple song structures and filling them with subtle nuances and various musical influences and moods. A song like “The Squid” displays a very bouncy indie/Pixies leaning but combines it with random noises and lo-fi synth over which Brett spouts off more of his inane alcohol-fueled lyrics. On the other hand there are songs such as “Sharron Sours” which brings out more of a Radiohead influence complete with a chill slow-moving tempo and spacey synth on the verses and combines it with an old-school hardcore vibe during the chorus. The rest of the songs all fall somewhere within the realm of description given for the tracks already mentioned, from the lo-fi synth and alternative leanings to the occasional old-school hardcore shout and other varied vocal deliveries, but each song combines those elements in a unique way that gives them their own identity.

Despite my attempt to explain this album using a few songs as examples, the album is varied enough that only a track by track would really be able to specifically explain all the subtle nuances and various elements contained within. Needless to say, this is still Thought Industry complete with the angry alcohol-fueled outbursts and strange musical ideas. The big difference is that this time the band has stripped down to a more basic alternative rock structure where the songs don’t abruptly change direction ten times in a minute but they have also crammed more elements into this new structure. If this even remotely sounds interesting I’d suggest tracking it down and then moving on to their entire back catalog because you won’t be disappointed.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
foreverendeared
June 2nd 2008



14678 Comments


decent review. it didn't flow well for me as i was reading it. i shall be voting though

Willie
Moderator
June 2nd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It flowed well on word, but didn't do well at all once I read it on here. Since it posted I've been in the process of a re-write... almost done.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

BallsToTheWall
June 2nd 2008



44164 Comments


I have their latest album but haven't fully listened to it. Probaly the 17 tracks put me off but should probaly spin it again. Nice review.

Willie
Moderator
June 2nd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*Re-Write Complete*

I have their latest album but haven't fully listened to it. Probaly the 17 tracks put me off but should probaly spin it again.
Yeah, the quality on that album suffers because the label crammed every song they had onto it since the band was basically done after it was released. By that point the only original member was Brent (vocalist) and a revolving door of other musicians. Just stop after track 13, that is where the album would have ended if the band had a choice.

SHOOTME
June 2nd 2008



2393 Comments


Hey Willie, another very nicely written review, my next review, I just need to check over it one more time.


Wizard
June 2nd 2008



18757 Comments


Since I was so impressed with Mods Carve The Pig, I will be checking this out. You make this seem alot more interesting than Mods because of all the wierd descriptions you gave. Excellent review once again.

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

foreverendeared
June 2nd 2008



14678 Comments


*Re-Write Complete*


yeah dude, much better. great stuff. you have lived up to the standards of the positive vote i gave earlier.

i need to check this sh*t out

Willie
Moderator
June 3rd 2008



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to this album and their final album Shortwave on a Cold Day back-to-back last night and realized that Shortwave is a much better album and that I may have over-rated this one slightly so I lowered it to a 3.5 (although it's really like a 3.7; whatever that really means).

Sabottheory
July 26th 2009



355 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This reminds me of Nirvana heavily

fireaboveicebelow
July 26th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I wish this band reunited

Willie
Moderator
July 28th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ask and you shall receive (potentially):


Also, BRENT OBERLIN came over for hot dogs and beer last weekend (along with the likes of DAVE NASH, DAN ROE and his family, siren MICHELLE GRAF, and even KEVIN BANKS. I set up a mini-waterpark for the all the kids. I so don't rock.) and let me report that new THOUGHT INDUSTRY is palpable. I asked Brent if I could hear some, but he said that I had leaked a draft version of SHORTWAVE.. to Chris Bryers without permission, and then Chris told people that it was barfy, ruining most of its sales potential. I don't know if this is totally true, but it sound plausible. Anyways, this probably means I won't get a preview unless it is under careful scrutiny.


Source: http://www.leonstemple.com/

You can get both the Thought Industry demos on that site too (for free).

fireaboveicebelow
July 28th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I got them from you, I like the second one a lot

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh yeah, I forgot that you have all of them.

So, that quote is pretty cool though. Hopefully it comes out soon.

fireaboveicebelow
July 29th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

probably 2011

poopty
July 29th 2009



319 Comments


idk this band is kinda generic

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very funny.

fireaboveicebelow
July 29th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

generic as Stravinsky

SteelErectedb4you8er
February 14th 2010



2612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love "The Squid" and "Soot on the Radio" so much. This album is probably my least favorite of theirs, but it is still great and unique.

Yazz_Flute
April 8th 2012



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's all about Fairy and Jack Frost Junior.

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

stabbler
February 18th 2013



1413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this has fugazi written all over it for mine



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