Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

POP MUSIC | RECORD RACK

*** THE DISCO BISCUITS, 'They Missed the Perfume," Megaforce

April 01, 2001|MARC WEINGARTEN

On the face of it, techno and the post-Grateful Dead guitar rock of contemporary jam bands have little in common. While techno places a high premium on rhythmic precision and a tightly circumscribed template of electronic textures and beats, the music of the best jam bands flows into numerous musical tributaries and shape-shifts through improvisation.

This Pennsylvania-bred, Santa Cruz-based quartet attempts to breach the chasm between these worlds, finding a common ground that's rooted in trance-like melodies and a trippy, neo-utopian world view. Its instrumentation mixes traditional guitars with drum machines and slippery electro-squiggles, tremulous vocals with chant-like choruses, pastoral guitar breaks with hard and fast beats.

For the most part, this unlikeliest of genre-bending experiments works on its third album, due in stores Tuesday. On "Highwire," spacey synth eighth-notes flutter over breakbeats, but the group vocals and funked-up guitars suggest some strange summit of Hawkwind and Phish. "Haleakala Crater" is an extended jam-band suite with the requisite hero's-journey narrative, but its hippie whimsy is undercut by sharp electronic drum breaks that come in and out of focus. "They Missed the Perfume" provides the perfect soundtrack for rave kids and jam band parking-lot nomads to meet on the dance floor and share a few smart drinks.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|