What do you get when you combine the zany musical antics of Frank Zappa, the prog complexity of Gentle Giant, and a healthy dose of jazz? Why, the ensemble from Minnesota called Bubblemath, of course! This intriguing band really surprised the hell out of me, as their music is so off the wall at times and full of daring musical risk taking that it hit me in the face like a slap of ice-cold water.
Being a long time admirer of Gentle Giant, I really dug Bubblemath's modern approach to that legendary band's formula. Use of odd meters and counterpoint add a nice balance to these sometimes jazzy, sometimes rocking, but always progressive tracks. The interplay between the keyboards, guitars, and occasional woodwinds reminded me of some of GG's more intricate stuff, while the furious rhythms are as complex as anything Rascal Reporters have ever recorded. The lyrics are inventive and very humorous, delivered in a Zappa-ish tone but do not take over the songs. Instead the vocals act as another instrument, and complement the musical passages, which is a contrast to what Zappa was doing twenty some odd years ago with his mostly humorous period.
Kudos to this band, who have managed to outdo such other bands past and present like Yezda Urfa, French TV, and Rascal Reporters with this style of sheer complex musical lunacy. With all of this insane playing and multiple vocal harmonies going on, the music is still memorable, which makes this CD a real winner. Fans of Echolyn, Spocks Beard, and of course GG, will eat this up!
Lest I forget, the booklet and CD package is quite unique and fun-I won't spoil the surprise, get the CD!