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Hrab, George: Interrobang

Time to come clean: I've never heard of George Hrab. And even though his fifth album, Interrobang, apparently is as confessional and personal as the drummer-turned-multi-instrumental vocalist gets, Hrab warns liner-notes readers: "Don't you assume you really know me." That established — and without even hearing a single note on this odd 60-minute CD influenced by Talking Heads, Frank Zappa and Prince — it's clear that Hrab isn't your typical do-it-yourself indie recording artist. The tall, bespectacled and bald man poses nude (save for a pair of red high-top sneakers) on the cover, the detailed and mind-bending liner notes explain the theory of relativity, and the disc itself is packaged in one of those sleek, clear-plastic DVD cases. It won't fit on your shelf between the Bruce Hornsby and Hum Machine CDs, but if it's any consolation, Interrobang did recently nab an ADDY® Award for its packaging design.

But, you ask, what about the music? Well, the music is a fun and delightful cornucopia of rock and pop song structures (as opposed to the funk and R&B leanings of Hrab's earlier albums) with lyrics that'll make you think more than you want to. The bald naked guy performs an awesome drum solo on "We're Looking for Something a Bit More Ethnic," paraphrases Carly Simon on "Out of My Mind" and takes plenty of shots at the GOP on "?" — which comes with 17(!) footnotes in Interrobang's booklet. The album gets a bit blustery and self-indulgent near its conclusion— a song about squirrels? — but at the end of it all, Hrab thanks me for listening to Interrobang, and that makes up for everything else.

Cheers, George.


Track Listing:
1) Blue Genes
2) Barney's in the Vent
3) The Assumption
4) 'Ya Famous?
5) Disappointed
6) Out of My Mind
7) ?
8) She Suffers From Superlatives
9) !
10) We're Looking for Something More Ethnic
11) Done Talking
12) Who Dogs the Outlet
13) Sciurus Carolinensis
14) Untitled Bonus Track

Added: May 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Geologic Records
Hits: 1339
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Hrab, George: Interrobang
Posted by Steve Ambrosius, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-05-02 08:01:53
My Score:

It is always important for me to hear a CD that is truly the passion of the author. George Hrab's Interrobang shows just that dedication. In the vein of Sum Voices, this is a solo album, with a little help of others, that is a true statement of the songwriter.


Interrobang is a very confessional piece, from the self-deprecation of "Blue Genes" to the shot at the definition of success "Ya Famous". But this is not a woe-is-me CD. George Hrab has a serious funk groove deep in his soul. "Barney's In The Vent" and "Who Dogs The Outlet" take the CD in many directions at once. They rock, yet hold enough quirks to make you listen deeper. Although the Zappa reference is always there, he is truly channeled on the fantastic "She Suffers From Superlatives".


Interrobang is the fifth release by George Hrab's although this is the first time I have heard his name. Let's hope this one-man force keeps his passion and dedication. Highly recommended for fans of Zappa and The Talking Heads




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