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Bubblemath: Edit Peptide
To be honest, I completely forgot about this very fine Minnesota based avant-prog-jazz-metal band ages ago, as after their excellent debut Such Fine Particles Of The Universe back in 2002 they kind of just disappeared off the face of the earth...until now that is. Edit Peptide is the brand new album from Bubblemath on Cuneiform Records, and it's a damn fine one that was worth the LONG wait. Bubblemath here in 2017 are:
Blake Albinson (Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, nylon string guitar, keyboards, tenor sax, vocals)
Jay Burritt (Electric bass, fretless synth bass, fretless electric bass, upright electric bass, vocals)
Kai Esbensen (Keyboards, vocals)
James Flagg (Drums, percussion, vocals)
Jonathan G. Smith (Vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, flute, clarinet, chimes, gong, glockenspiel, xylophone, mountain dulcimer, mandolin, banjo)
If you aren't familiar with the band, they blend complex progressive rock ala Gentle Giant or Echolyn with a touch of Beatles or Todd Rundgren inspired pop, as well as the metallic crunch of Dream Theater and the zany approach of Frank Zappa. Though that might sound a little 'all over the place', their sound is surprisingly quite cohesive and flows nicely. The lengthy opener "Routine Maintenance" contains all sorts of twists and turns, yet stays highly melodic with plenty of hooks, while "Avoid That Eye Candy" is all about the hooks, a charming, catchy pop rocker that still allows the band to display their supreme musical talents. Crisp guitar riffs and cascading keyboards soar over intricate rhythms on the quirky "Perpetual Notion", the bands multi-part vocal harmonies really coming into play while Esbensen lays down a wide assortment of dazzling keyboard tapestries. The band dive into Genesis/Echolyn styled prog on the engaging "A Void That I Can Depart To", a song that again is littered with fantastic guitar, keyboard, and vocal passages, while "Get a Lawn" mixes pastoral prog with upbeat jazz and a touch of metal that results in enchanting listening. It's Yes-meets-Dream Theater-meets-Frank Zappa on the wild "Making Light of Traffic", easily one of the highlights here that sees Burritt putting on a clinic with his nimble bass lines alongside Esbensen dazzling synths, and Bubblemath's uncanny ability to toss both lush prog, intricate jazz-fusion, and avant-metal at the listener pops up one more time on the incredible "Destiny Repeats Itself", which features a killer guitar solo courtesy of Albinson. The band save their most off-the-wall tune for last in the form of the complex "The Sensual Con", kind of like a late night jam between Gentle Giant and Dream Theater, this one packing everything in but the kitchen sink, the intricate counterpoint is simply marvelous as all the members weave their instruments around each other, with Smith's lead vocals keeping up every step of the way. Mind boggling stuff.
Edit Peptide is one of those albums that will leave you speechless when it's over, as the musicianship is simply jaw dropping yet the band manage to make it all accessible and fun at the same time for those who might otherwise get lost in the complexity of it all. Hopefully we won't have to wait another 15 years for another Bubblemath release, but in the meantime, this one has plenty of fantastic material to hold us over for quite a while. Tremendous stuff here...do not miss this album!
Routine Maintenance 12:41
Avoid That Eye Candy 03:53
Perpetual Notion 06:56
A Void That I Can Depart To 10:07
Get a Lawn 06:20
Making Light of Traffic 08:58
Destiny Repeats Itself 07:23
The Sensual Con 07:36
Added: July 15th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
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