After writing about the awesome Climax Landers show at Roboto, I got an email from the band. They thanked me for the review and sent me their album digitally. I already bought the CD, but this was a kind gesture. Since I hadn't listened to it yet, this also prompted me to play it, and it is great!
Climax Landers' self-titled album seriously might be one of my favorite albums ever! All the songs are solid and fun to listen to. The first song, "Climax Landers", has a very lo-fi, people talking intro before going into a fun singalong. I like these musique concrete elements, as they help to document the time and place and feeling. "Obstacles" is another great one. It has awesome guitar and drum sounds, electrifying and popping, with more singalong-y vocals. It sounds like a more wild Miracle Legion. "Up On a Hillside" has some cool harmonica, and "Prophecies" is a vocal-driven song with strong harmonies/counterpoints. "Pray For All Muslims" is a social commentary, and it seems like it uses some "found statements" to deliver its point. It's pretty freeform, with a scary, tinkling, attic piano jam. "Star Wars is not a religion".
"Came to Splatter" and "Flip Out First" rock on through. There isn't much to say about 'em. "Free Thought" is a celebration and musing of the costs, due to societal constraints, on the title subject. "What Can I Say?" has a great, squeaky outro, like bikes deflating wholly.
Like the band's name, there are two tracks named after video games, "Silhouette Mirage" and "Azure Dreams", games all with a similar aesthetic. "Silhouette Mirage" has plain vocals in a dreary but hopeful way. "Azure Dreams" uses video game imagery to create something more. It reminds me of my own band's stuff or Queen's "Seven Seas of Rhye". The vocals are weird, but they make sense in a nonsense Beat way. I really like this song.
The album closes out with "Charles' House", with its themes of lost memories and lost youth, dreams of the past, the Brian DiSanto-ish "Titmouse", and a reprise of "Climax Landers". This version of "Climax Landers" ends with the talking and it helps conclude the album.
Climax Landers gets a Good. It's probably one of my favorite albums ever. I love the simple production, the freeform songs, the sounds of the instruments, the vocals, the lyrics, and the political/childhood innocense themes. You can hear Pavement, Beat Happening, Uncle Wiggly, and Miracle Legion in these timeless tracks. I would tell you to go listen to it and post a link here, but I don't think this album is anywhere online (except that song above). You can check out the band Old Table here, which Climax Landers is an offshoot of. I hope eventually they do decide to upload this album somewhere so everyone can listen to it. Anyway, check 'em out if you get a chance.