Review Summary: This is quite possibly the most ridiculous and awesome thing you’ve ever heard.
An Albatross has always been a band with very unique and crazy sound. That same fanatical sound is maintained on the group’s latest release An Albatross Family Album
. Though it feels more focused than ever, it also feels like An Albatross is having more fun while exploring and expanding their musical horizons. If you thought the band had a hectic, psychedelic sound before, then you haven’t heard anything yet.
The vocals have significantly changed for the better with this release. Whereas the vocals on the previous albums seemed somewhat forced and out of control, the vocals on the Family Album
feel more fluent and natural. While improving upon his screams, the vocalist also employs a strange shouting technique that sounds very reminiscent of the vocals from Daughters’ 2006 album – Hell Songs
. However this ‘Drunk Elvis’ may not exactly be intoxicated from the consumption of alcohol, but rather from the consumption of LSD. After all, listening to this band is probably as close as you can get to experiencing a psychedelic trip while being completely sober.
While still being a key focus (pun intended) of the band’s sound, the keyboards feel like less of a gimmick and more of a legitimate part of the music. But maybe the keys feel more natural because the music is, believe it or not, even stranger than on previous releases. Part of what makes this album so damn strange and interesting is the inclusion of a saxophone. It adds another dimension to the band’s sound while still being able to maintain that over the top mathy/psychedelic/synth goodness that was so lovable on the last album.
The guitars are aslo vastly improved on this album than the last, and have the speed and technicality comparable to Daughters and the Dillinger Escape Plan. The guitarist also helps give the album a nice variety which was missing from Blessphemy (of the Peace-Beast Feastgiver and the Bear Warp Kumite)
. The guitarist jumps from catchy punk riffs, to the frenzied shredding from previous efforts, and to 70’s-esque stylings, even some with a slight southern tinge.
The bass is as just as funky as ever and is very well displayed on most of the Family Album
but most of all on both “...And Now Emerges the Silver Pilgrim” and “The Psychonaut and the Rustbelt.” The drums are also excellent throughout the album. They can be technical and hectic when needed and can also slow down and relax without missing a beat (pun intended once again).
Overall The An Albatross Family Album
is an excellent release. It’s jam packed with originality and hallucinogenic creativity. It really takes you on a trip (last pun, I swear) to a psychedelic sci-fi world and back. See “The Hymn of the Angel People” to find out what I mean. The Family Album
also isn’t plagued with the monotony that Blessphemy (of the Peace-Beast Feastgiver and the Bear Warp Kumite)
and We Are the Lazer Viking
was. To be frank, this may be the most ridiculous and awesome thing I’ve ever heard.
Original and Creative (see whole album)
Technical and fast
Can get annoying for some
A lot going on (I definitely recommend headphones)
May cause boners