Schizo Fun Addict

Just a Dimension Away

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If a quick and pithy description of Just a Dimension Away were possible, it would probably go roughly like this: it is the Happy Mondays by way of the Orb seeping out of a peephole at an illegal rave somewhere in New York City. Of course, there really is no easy way to sum up the debut full-length from Schizo Fun Addict without losing the gist of what makes it so magnificent. The music is an auditory drug, and a particularly appetizing one at that, but it is also a disorienting, shambolic (occasionally to its detriment), unholy cathedral of sound. This is certainly one band unafraid to color outside the lines. The album launches right into an approximation of the blissful delirium of psychotropic-induced highs on "repentagram" and "Neo-theme," coaxing rainbows of tangled fuzz and altars of feedback and reverberation from its guitars, while beneath the fray Jet and Jane trade vocals just out of audible range as if they're trying to keep mind-blowing, whispered secrets to themselves. But as much as the layers of engulfing seduction really do draw you deeper inside either yourself (the haunting come-down "Home") or the soundscapes themselves, Schizo Fun Addict uses the opportunity to direct you toward the dancefloor, even if it's the metaphorical dancefloor of the mind. You get a feel for the quartet's rhythmic influences on "Dynamic Fanatic," a frenetic tribute to and subversion of Motown soul that dices up sections of "Just My Imagination," "Tighten Up," and "It's a Shame" into an addictive stew, but it takes those cues into stimulating new percussive galaxies on songs like "Diamond," "'Heads Up," and "Magesty," the latter a behemoth of electro and techno beats with a furtively soulful little piano melody that occasional sneaks to the surface along with Jane's ghostly but utterly compelling monotone. The band is at its finest, though, on "non fer Lucy," a phenomenal collage of aquatic dub bass, metallic guitar scrapings, and a jigsaw of hip-hop grooves that vie for supremacy. It is an utterly spellbinding, gothic fairy tale, enigmatic and explosive at once. Just a Dimension Away gets a bit muddy and indecipherably chaotic at times, but it grasps at the light with such zeal and ferocious ambition that it never fails to captivate. Incidentally, it sounds twice as good piped through headphones.

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