When you listen to a band, especially a band that you don’t know, it’s easy to compare them to bands that you’ve heard before. “Oh, they sound like blah-blah-blah,” ad nauseam. Although delivered with the most innocent and harmless intentions, it leaves you sounding like a know-it-all jackass who’s forgotten how to have a good time. It’s a normal human reaction and it isn’t especially fair because you’ve already made up your mind and set up your own limitations for how you think a group should sound. You’re ruining the fun. We’re always reaching for familiarity when faced with something new. I feel Alosi Den knows this, too. They’re good at sweeping the rug out from under you.
Every song on Have You Met the Dead Poets presents different questions. Sometimes lyrically, sometimes musically but with a greater sense of curiosity in regards to what they themselves are capable of. There’s a nervous uncertainty present in Dead Poets that feels comforting and alarming at the same time. They’ll dive into sweeping rhythms that could carry you down the sunshine trip only to hit sharp deviations that sputter and jump. The whole album is like a ride and would best be absorbed behind the wheel of a fast vehicle. If you happen to be at sea, more’s the pity.
Simple keys and guitar swirl in repeated dreamy circles with the drums keeping time with some cheeky distant hi-hat action
Crunchy guitar and stabbing keys are the order of the day here, it all feels very improvisational, which is of course no bad thing!
This has a lovely gently Shamanic feel to the keys and bass which then drifts into beautiful birdsong but far too soon! This has the makings of a twenty seven minute epic!
More shimmering cymbals and keys open to another tranquil piece. To begin with the vocals are kept at the back and wail gently along. Then skittering drums and pulsing bass come to the fore and now the vocals rise in volume to meet the insistent sounds
This has layered plodding textures and another twisted vocal performance and these remain the center part on this (again) bucolic track.
The twin male vocal totally threw me for some reason at the beginning of this number. Once again there seems no hurry to go anywhere fast but to plod on through with palpable intent. One gets the feeling of cathartic release.
Here’s a brief softly bubbling track that’s almost an instrumental with more of the vocal as an instrument experience/experiment.
The pace picks up just a little here and suddenly I’m thinking of early Gong (Magick Brother) and that’s never a bad thing! This track is the bastard offspring from the seedy copulation of Can and Daevid Allen!!
Nicholas Panagakos is a writer based out of Cambridge, MA. He has published one book of poems and illustrations titled Laughter You See and plays in bands regularly. Soon to open a home for adult orphans. Buy him a drink.
Anti-Cop. Anti-ICE. Pro-Union.