By Chris Pacifico
An Albatross :: 01.18.07 :: The First Unitarian Church :: Philadelphia, PA
Listening to An Albatross requires a refined palate accustomed to lots of spicy curries. Curry contains a mélange of spices and aromas that are released into the taste buds. However, it can sometimes be too much for some people. Wilkes-Barre, PA's An Albatross is similar in that their sound adheres to a bruising array of ingredients - the organ-fueled prog rock of early Yes, spastic metal, hardcore, psychedelic jazz fusion, disco, flamenco, and African polyrhythms. They put these ingredients in a blender set on frappe with most of the tracks never clocking in past the two minute mark. Their intensity and drive can be rather abrasive for some but An Albatross plays like they could care less what anyone thinks.
An Albatross is known for their chaotic live performances and after swigging down absinthe with them at their ruckus inducing CMJ Music Marathon performance in NYC last fall, at which a photographer got their nose broken, I just had to go and take my still recuperating sensory preceptors back for a second helping when they graced my home turf.
An Albatross :: 01.18 by Harrison
Their colorful leader and self-described "psychedelevangelist," Edward B. Gieda III, is more like the leader of a three-ring circus up on stage, dancing the heebie jeebies and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. His vocal concoction of screeching, hooting, and whooping sounds like a cat with Tourette's Syndrome being sucked under a riding mower. If vocal chords had human rights, Amnesty International would have intervened long ago.
The hard, gritty thrash guitars from Jaek Lisowski blazed a path right through "Lysergically Yours, My Psychedelic Bride" and "Dimensional Gymnastics" before drummer Stevie Vainai asked that he turn his guitar down because he couldn't hear out of his left ear. The tremor inducing bass of Jay Hudak merged with the Farfisa organ/B3/Korg and Theremin onslaught brought on by Phillip Price and Kat Paffett, creating what sounded like a most kaleidoscopic twenty car pile up, which made the crowd dance around like amped up rattlesnakes.
Included was a cover of "Fire" from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, whom Gieda declared a prophet before he dedicated "Electric Suits and Cowboy Boots" to what he described as the "20,000 poor souls who have to go overseas and fight some fucking war for some fucking suits."
An Albatross :: 01.18 by Christie Harrison
New fans will feel like they've been whipped around in a washing machine after leaving their first An Albatross gig. The physical energy this motley pack of musical misfits puts into a single performance is equal to the energy most bands put into four performances. It's just another notch on the belt of An Albatross. Taste it if you dare.
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