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Zirconium Meconium [LP]

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  • Look up, the" fasten seat belts" light is on for the trip that is Zirconium Meconium, the full-length debut from Los Angeles' Fever the Ghost. Actually, lacing up dancing boots works, too, for the quartet's particular, peculiar brand of dancy, glam-flavored neo-psych, one that's difficult to hyperbolize for all of its trippy, lush, theatrical, electro-rock grandeur. Singer Casper Indrizzo's especially dynamic vocal delivery, reminiscent of Bowie if he were on helium, is only a fraction of the eccentricity in the band's sound. Laser-like electronics, moaning keyboard tones, funky rhythms, this-one-goes-to-11 effects, barking dogs, pitch bends, distorted spoken word clips, and more blitz the 12-track ride. After appearing on the Flaming Lips' Beatles cover album With a Little Help from My Fwends a year prior, the band is joined by Lips guitarist Steven Drozd on "Peace Crimes," a restrained but particularly otherworldly song with heavily processed, stratified vocals and atypical chord progressions that seem an appropriate soundtrack for a spacewalk. In contrast, "Long Tall Stranger" is rhythmically explosive, with psychedelic organ and hooky guitars that together propel the tune out of orbit. Speaking again of outer space, "Surf's Up!...Nevermind" is a punky, surfy, nearly Rocky Horror Picture Show-like tune that unravels into lost-signal and spaceship noise. The disco-grooving "1518" and the dream poppish "Sun Moth" are among the songs that offer some relative stability to the track list, but in the end, Zirconium Meconium is a kooky and exciting voyage, not entirely catchy but melodic and driving, and worth taking time out to explore. ~ Marcy Donelson
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