Review Summary: A unique, delightfully indulgent instrumental outing from prog-jazz-metallers Lye By Mistake. You will definitely stay entertained.
Instrumental albums are quite the multi-edged sword. In a sense, they shut the door on music that uses vocals, but at the same time, open many, many others. What I mean by this is, music can be a pretty emotional thing, right? I mean, is it not the primary reason why so many people enjoy music? And it’s pretty tough to deny that the reason why many people get an emotional response out of music is because the vocalist of whatever band they’re listening to is singing about something they can feel and relate to. This is the door that instrumental music closes. But, even when instrumental music can’t evoke emotions with words, it still can be just as creative and forward-thinking as any music with vocals, if not more so, considering instrumental musicians are forced to evoke emotions with wordless sounds. These are the doors that instrumental music opens. And these doors unveil a whole new realm of musical possibilities and emotion-evoking methods that music with vocals does not, and cannot share. And if something is made out of these possibilities, and the multi-edged sword is sharpened just right, instrumental music can be a very beautiful thing.
The progressive/metal/jazz fusion outfit Lye By Mistake have given us an excellent example of creative, forward-thinking instrumental music with their second outing, Fea Jur,
even though if it’s emotion-evoking or not is debatable. But back to the “multi-edged sword” idea, instrumental music doesn’t necessarily have
to rip your tear ducts apart with gorgeous piano crescendos, or get you punching holes in your walls to crushing riffs and soaring solos. Sometimes, the music can just sound
cool. And this album definitely generates some pretty entertaining sounds.
And these sounds, from a technical standpoint, are astounding. The musicianship of this band is absolutely incredible. Most of these songs’ structures are dominated by virtuosic guitar solos and solo/riff harmonies, perplexingly intricate bass grooves, and/or meticulous drum beats. At times, these frequent displays of superb musical ability can get a tad tiresome, but those instances don’t come close to overshadowing how entertaining they are the vast majority of the time.
Along with how entertaining the solos, riffs, and patterns are, another aspect that saves Fea Jur
from being thoughtless, and substance-less, is that the songs are actually quite comprehensibly structured. Even with all the shredding, sweeping, and soloing in between, main riffs and melodies are repeated to hold the songs together and keep them coherent. For example, “Invincible Badass” has a heavy, underlying main riff that repeats throughout the song alongside its many variations on higher melodies. The album’s opener, “Big Red Button,” also has a riff that’s repeated periodically throughout the song to give it some more substance. And while I’m talking about this song, it would be a crime not to mention this song’s awesomely eerie intro. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the album.
It would also be a crime not to mention “Missouri Tomater,” the far-too-short acoustic number. It’s amazing, the guitarist is shredding these beautiful and intricate chord patterns as if he was still playing on an electric. And even though this track is completely different from anything else on this album, it still slides in perfectly in the track list, right before the epic 11-minute closer, “Money Eating Mary (Karaoke Remix).”
But even with all this entertaining wankery and intelligible structuring I’ve been rambling about, the best thing about Fea Jur
is probably just how damn unique it is. All of the solos, heavy, metal-esque riffs, jazzy breakdowns, and weird electronic noises come together to form a sound I’ve never really quite heard before. And it’s a sound that only stops being entertaining when the particular passage that creates it gets a bit stale, which again, is not very often.
is perplexing, sometimes exhausting, but most often, entertaining. It’s a very unique album, and although a few of the solos and other kinds of musical passages it possesses could be shortened a bit or cut completely, it still successfully opens the doors of music’s possibilities a bit wider. I declare this one another victory for the multi-edged sword of instrumental music.
Big Red Button