Stationary Odyssey

Head! Foot! And the Pink Axe

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The post-indie rock of Stationary Odyssey falls somewhere along the spectrum between the more prog rock tendencies of Tortoise and the more fuzzed-up, moody guitar attacks of Mogwai. Head! Foot! And the Pink Axe is packed with instrumental guitar excursions that seem to be in a constant battle between heart-muscle and cerebellum, between emotional melody and excursionist math rock. In the opener, "Me and You and Gummi Bears," the Indiana group drops beautiful, harmonic-tinged guitar lines like nobody's business, and in "Lost, Lonely and Vicious" the guitars clatter dramatically along while pretty vibraphone plunks dot the landscape. But then "Terror on the Hell Loop" crops up and mathematically wheels along in a way that only folks with King Crimson posters on their walls could truly love and appreciate. The quieter, jazzy "Skeletons" vacillates between melodic sense and atonality and seems, for once, to pull together the disparate tendencies of this group. But then the anomalous "Cosmic Eddie, Oceanographer" is a straight dive into beat-driven, experimental electronica. Schizophrenia aside, Head! Foot! And the Pink Axe is a compelling listen, and frankly it's hard to disguise the daring talent behind this album.

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