Yellow Ostrich: Strange Land

Posted on 07 March 2012 by Bowlegs

Yellow Ostrich - Strange Land

Elephant King starts things off with a very familiar Australian centric sound a la Phoenix Foundation and Cloud Control. Bare Naked Ladies too … luckily less of the latter! You can’t take the Elephant King’s territory off him, and you can’t take the band’s originality off them either.

We meander through a gently upbeat album. We hear a recurring fragile voice. Another familiar element of everything post-Flaming Lips. Perhaps it’s that we’re more forgiving of people’s lack of talent, or maybe it’s that a fragile voice is more reflective of reality … everyone’s a bit fragile during these difficult times.

The guitar work throughout is great – polyrhythmic, but not to the point of taking over. It’s a much preferential example of the production talents of Beau Sorenson, known for his work with Death Cab. My issue with Death Cab is it’s middle of the road and after further investigation, Sorenson’s attention to the sonics of recording is greater than just tracking what spews out setting filters, using a harmonic approach to slotting sound together in an artistic way.

I Got No Time For You is the darkest exploration on the album, but retains a optimism of the whole album. It’s a cohesive piece of work artistically and lyrically. It’s cool to drop in anywhere on this album and get the same retained memory of the first time I heard it. I love the natural break up of singer Alex Schaaf’s vocal and a merit that they allowed that to remain on the final product.

Recurring themes offer security to the listener in Up in The Mountains through repetitive warm guitar tones and bouncing drums (the drums are like rubber footballs being booted about the soundstage constantly) and our finishing track, When All Is Dead, is fit for any bedtime playlist or Sunday soul massage. Well done band, this album is great. I wonder what it’s like live?

-Andy Halliday-


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