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Pilotdrift: Water Sphere

If you define progressive music as music that defies genre categorization, then Pilotdrift's disturbingly lovely Water Sphere might be one of the best progressive records you've heard all year. Straight out of Texarkana, Texas, this exploratory quintet was the first band signed by Good Records which is owned by Tim DeLaughter and Julie Doyle of the oversized musical army known as The Polyphonic Spree. Oh, sure Pilotdrift's debut CD boasts plenty of reference points: Queen, Wilco, U2, Marillion, carnival-sideshow tunes, juggling-routine music and Gaelic drinking songs but none of them are clear enough to say, "Pilotdrift sounds like "

The haunting layers of the opener "Caught In My Trap" compel not because they invoke Pink Floyd and David Bowie but because the song is so intentionally quirky and deep that it'll sound different every time you play it. Meanwhile, "Passenger Seat" recalls U2 at its oddest, and the 10-minute"Jekyll and Hyde Suite" indulges in demented circus music and classical soundtrack arrangements. "Elephant Island" continues the album's twisted middle section with Polyphonic Spree influences, pub anthems and atonal noise, and "Rings of Symbols" opens with ominous, minor-key piano chords that segue into Middle Eastern motifs. "Comets," a lush and ambient instrumental, provides some aural respite before the bleak closer "So Long," which actually happens to be Water Sphere's heaviest and most anthemic song, with tribal drums building up to a joyous children's choir.

On top of all this sonic stimulation come lyrics that'll creep you out ("I eat humans; I'll eat your heart out" and "Would you let me fall out of my mind?/Would you let me land in your mind?") or make you cry ("I sing your song, even though you're gone tonight/And though things have changed, You/I/We say we're still the same" and "In case this were to be the last time we're all as one/So long, in song").

Transcendent stuff.

Track Listing:
1) Caught in My Trap
2) Bubblecraft
3) Passenger Seat
4) Late Night in a Wax Museum
5) Jekyll and Hyde Suite
6) Elephant Island
7) Rings of Symbols
8) Comets
9) So Long

Added: November 15th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Pilotdrift Web Site
Hits: 3596
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Pilotdrift: Water Sphere
Posted by Tom Millay on 2008-04-14 23:35:18
My Score:

OMG this is the worst album of all time...okay, it's comic effect is pretty awesome, esp. in "Elephant Island"

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