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You know, this music thing is funny. And it's confusing at times. Seems you
can't swing a dead cat without hitting a band that combines seemingly
incompatible styles to create a new, sometimes wonderful bastard child.
Take Pyogenesis, for instance. This once-extreme band has just released Unpop,
a savagely un-extreme album of irresistible pop ditties and alternative-flavored
whining. It's a hard album to get a grasp on, a hard one to swallow at times,
but a catchy and enjoyable one nonetheless.
Unpop starts out with "Blue Smiley's Plan", easily the best song on the
album (never a really good thing, because you can only go down from there), a
witty and melodic song that could easily be much longer than it is. "Plan"
showcases a skill that these guys have in abundance: the balance of mellow and
heavy passages, bouncing into one another and making the song pulse along.
"Love Nation Sugarhead", the first single from the album, is described in the
liner notes as having all the "classic techno elements...the whole club vibe has
been captured." Well, that's reason enough to hate the tune already, but it's
surprisingly entertaining, despite the drum machine and whiny Casioesque sound
effects, and it's no surprise that this was the first song chosen to introduce
the band to the world: it's just the kind of thing that makes it on radio, and
the video is equally fit to be MTV-fodder.
There is a fun and bouncy feel to the album, and that can either work in its
favor or against it, depending on where you stand. There's a Matthew Sweet-vibe
to songs like "Rhapsodie in E" and "Get Up", and there are some absolute gems
sprinkled within, like the very well written "Silver Experience."
But by the time the disc has wound down, Pyogenesis has slipped into a rather
formulaic sound that makes the last half of the album a bit tiresome. Any of
these songs would be great fun on their own, but an entire album of
Nirvana-reborn-as-happy-guys is more than is necessary. If their next album
shows as much versatility and imagination as the first few tracks on Unpop,
it will definitely be a keeper.
Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
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