Out of Africa

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Inhabiting the exact midway point between At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta on the one hand and the Boredoms on the other, Bay Area outfit Triclops! are more sonically adventurous than the average stoner rock crew, but more structured than the pure noise freak-out crowd. Not that they aren't pretty seriously strange: the pummeling opening track "March of the Half Babies" features a lead vocal processed into something out of a David Lynch nightmare and dissolves into a cacophony of deformed cries at its end. "Iraqi Curator" features passages that are almost pretty, which then get overwhelmed by washes of distortion and frenzied drums, while the excellently named "Freedom Tickler" features another processed lead vocal, this one akin to what drowning cartoon characters sound like. After the first three tracks, though, Out of Africa smoothes itself out into more traditional stoner rock and post-hardcore for its second half, keeping the quartet's experimental tendencies in check for the most part. This half of the album is still quite entertaining -- "Cassava" and "Secret 93" in particular are probably the most immediately enjoyable songs on the album -- but it does seem structurally odd to make Out of Africa a game of two halves in this manner.

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