Welcome to a brand new and improved Beandon’s Musical Nook, the one place on campus for in-depth, exhaustive evaluations of the newest releases in rock, jazz, experimental … and just about all the pieces else. Brandon Rupp (additionally identified by his mononymous musical title “beandon,” below which he releases music and DJs as KZSU’s Pupil Music Director) explores a brand new title and offers unfiltered suggestions, whatever the style. Be at liberty to ship him music — he’d love to have a look!
Practically ten months into the 12 months, 2023 has established itself as an odd 12 months for music.
There have been many bursts of good albums, similar to Lana Del Rey’s experimental “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Below Ocean Blvd,” Feeble Little Horse’s spunky debut “Woman With Fish” and Jamie Department’s tragic posthumous jazz basic “Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world warfare)).” Nonetheless, I need to admit that these data have been comparatively few and much between, and definitely less than the duty of following 2022, one among my favourite years for music.
Between that commentary and my work because the music desk editor this quantity, I had momentarily positioned my column on the again burner … till now. I all the time recognize when an album renews my spirit in each music and writing about music. For this column, that album is “3D Nation” by New York post-punk nation jam-band amalgamation, Geese.
Geese is a comparatively new band, having solely launched one prior document, “Projector” (2021). Although a solidly crafted post-punk album, it merely hinted on the band’s unleashed expertise. For one, it was instantly obvious that vocalist Cameron Winter is a gifted, weird frontman. He’s unpredictable, plunging into deep bass notes solely to instantly swap to heartfelt shrieking. (Take heed to him belt “I used to be hypnotized” on the titular monitor of “3D Nation” for an concept of what I imply.)
On “3D Nation,” Winter’s lyrics describe weird tales fueled by an ungodly quantity of psychedelic medicine. The livid, Zeppelin-esque opener “2112” is peppered with references to the Kali Yuga and Norse monster Jörmungandr to sign a way of apocalyptic dread. The honkytonk closing quantity “St. Elmo” includes a resolute message for a few of the album’s moodiness: “Some tales have a tragic finish / Some unhappy tales haven’t any fucking level.”
The band’s relentless track buildings and penchant for genreplay resemble basic 70s prog rock, however it’s infused with nation twang and Southern soul. The fusion is unbelievable at factors. For instance, the titular monitor includes a group of gospel backup singers who function the glue for the track’s mixture of shimmering indie rock guitars, sweeping harp and (weirdly) Roman-themed lyrics.
This explicit monitor additionally has the uncommon distinction of feeling “epic” within the literal sense of the phrase. By means of quite a few cycles of lovely lyrical and instrumental passages over its almost six-minute run time, the track is as three dimensional as its title would indicate, exploring dozens of musical and lyrical angles for its free surrealist story.
Geese’s postmodern disregard of style locations it within the custom of musical goofballs like Ween or (the far more aggressive) Mr. Bungle. (Ween’s “12 Golden Nation Greats” is the one document the place the band stayed comfortably inside one style. Right here, Geese takes that as an open invitation to experiment wildly with a skewing of nation.) Songs like “Cowboy Nudes” are performed straight as gospel pop diddies, whereas “Mysterious Love,” alternatively, is a post-punk slice of noise rock.
Geese’s throughline for these components, like Ween and Bungle, is tight and prodigious instrumentation. The quite a few orchestral components are well-arranged and furiously carried out, the rhythm part is thunderous and fairly often funky, and the vocals are among the many finest in latest reminiscence. Tracks like “Domoto” play with wild dynamics and sluggish builds to nice impact, whereas “Cowboy Nudes” exhibits that Geese is each well-rehearsed and unrestrained.
Each track on “3D Nation” is packed to the brim with catchy melodies and memorable quirks: “Be my warrior,” “Rollin’ up the items of my thoughts” and “The place would I ever be with out you?” are all stray hooks nonetheless caught in my head dozens of listens in.
The one eyebrow-raising aspect of the album’s presentation is its cowl and promotional artwork, all of which had been clearly composed with the help of DALL-E AI. The quilt represents the themes of rising artificiality, doom and dread within the context of the pure world (symbolized by the meat-and-potatoes cowboy aesthetic), nevertheless it virtually immediately dates the album visually.
Nonetheless, “3D Nation” is a incredible launch and simply one among my favourite albums of the 12 months. In virtually each single means, this album delivers the products: it’s enjoyable, clever and proficient. I can’t wait to see the place Geese goes subsequent with this basis.
“3D Nation” continues the streak of my column’s “gushing reward” arc. I can’t think about a greater album to return with — right here’s to many extra!
Editor’s Observe: This text is a evaluation and comprises subjective opinions, ideas and critiques.