Music

Triclops!: Out of Africa

Aliens team up with the future ghost of Steve Vai to give you political advice in the form of the debut album from San Francisco's newest super-group.


Triclops!

Out Of Africa

Label: Alternative Tentacles
US Release Date: 2008-03-25
UK Release Date: 2008-03-24
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Like how the metal band Down pooled talent from Pantera, Crowbar, and Corrosion of Conformity into a singular vision, the Bay area's Triclops! squeezes the sounds of The Fleshies, Lower Forty-Eight, Bottles & Skulls, and Victim's Family into a mashup of abstract psychedelic punk stylings. However, unlike Down, Out of Africa surpasses expectations to be a more thoroughly satisfying and mind-bending affair than any of the all-star quartet's respective main paychecks. The vocals here -- though keeping with the socially responsible mission statement of Jello Biafra's label -- are often tweaked to alien pitches and, while the guitar and drum sounds are basically standard for modern San Francisco punk, the time signatures and bizarre changes explored on this record are on another level. "Iraqi Curator" begins with a jangly guitar and a steady building drum roll. When it kicks in with throbbing bass and wailing Steve Vai guitar virtuosity, it sounds like Jane's Addiction jamming with Primus. Out of Africa is host to seven such jams, all of which will make you believe in a Philip Dick like unearthly telepathic consciousness.

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From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.


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White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

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The Best Country Music of 2017

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Burt Lancaster not only stars in The Kentuckian (1955) but directed and produced it for the company he co-founded with Ben Hecht. The result is an exciting piece of Americana accoutred in all sorts of he-man folderol, as shot right handsomely in Technicolor by Ernest Laszlo and scored by Bernard Herrmann with lusty horns to echo the source novel, Felix Holt's The Gabriel Horn.

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Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

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