Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For the Record, This is Not Hyapatia Lee

I'll admit it, what first drew me to checking out Seattle's Hypatia Lake, was my initial misreading of their name. "Hyapatia Lee, everyone's favorite Native American '80s porn star, has a new CD out?!," thought I. Well, as interesting a project as that undoubtedly would be, Hypatia Lake has put together something inarguably more out there with their sophomore release, Angels and Demons, Space and Time.

For those of you who aren't hip to the band (because everyone knows the porn star, right?), Hypatia Lake is a made-up community and all the songs revolve around the lives of its fictitious populace. On this outing, listeners are treated to a chronological set of scenes as Joseph Bigby lay dying on the floor of the Candy Factory. It might help the confused to point out that ol' Joseph led a rebellion of factory worker on the band's debut, Your Universe, Your Mind. All I can say is to buy a program, folks. You can't tell the players without a program.

To me, the concept is intriguing, but I was an English Lit major, so I eat up this kind of weird junk. The bigger issue, though, is how is the music? Well, let me tell you, this thing is more all over the board than a Yahtzee player on crack. You've got everything from your plaintive melodies to your standard classic rock to your flat out, spastic, reverb-and-feedback drenched noise. If you're looking for experimental, look no further. Do you like The Animals? "Of Brains and Stars" sounds damn near to their take on "House of the Rising Sun." Into Flaming Lips' style of rock? Look no further than "The Patterns of Orion." How about early, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd? Then "Yuym" is the track for you. Personally, I could have done without the nearly 15 minutes of noise that came courtesy of the songs "Upon Their Meeting, They Embrace", "Your Rate in Time" and the bonus track, but to each their own, I suppose.

And if you, like me, were hoping for Hyapatia Lee, take solace in the fact that there's a naked fairy of some sort on the cover. I'll say this for Hypatia Lake. They certainly have a bit of something for everyone.

mp3: The General's Gleaming Edge



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