Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Of Natural History

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Mimicry
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

If you're looking for something different, this is the disc. It's one half melodic, the other half avant-garde. It you are a fan of either, it is totally hit or miss. If you enjoy miscellaneous ideas intermingled with one another, you will certainly find this fascinating. Personally, it kept my attention and intrigue through every track and that's no small accomplishment.

Take Crash Test Dummies, Pink Floyd, Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Pain of Salvation, Paatos, Slipknot, Tool, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. What do you get when you throw these into a pot and set them to simmer? I'm not sure, and by the sounds of it, you probably wouldn't want to consume it, but these are about the best descriptions I can provide. While you may cringe at the thought of this potpourri of progressive elements, it's actually quite entertaining. One could say maybe even good enough to eat.

Now I understand why some people are gaga for these gorillas while others are left out in the cold. They are accessible in a non-accessible way. They are most definitely an acquired taste. These apes venture into realms far and wide, but never stay in a single spot long enough to lock onto their location. If you like wandering through a museum and seeing the many random displays, you'll surely enjoy this sort of fare. If not, it will probably be sleepytime for you.

I won't break this down track to track all that much. This album is best when perceived as a whole. There are separate compositions, but each is so intensely varied, you can hardly tell when you have ventured into a new one.

While some pieces are whimsical and witty, others come off obscene, course, filthy and downright rude. Not to mention, there are sound clips that are utterly creepy and the guest speakers are awfully eccentric. This music is like the friend who is chemically imbalanced. You know they mean well. Sometimes you get them in their good state. Other times they are nowhere near status quo. Regardless, you will find you're always dealing with some level of moodiness.

Here is an idea of the many sides to their personality: "A Hymm To The Morning Star" is Crash Test Dummies, "The Donkey-Headed Adversary Of Humanity Opens The Discussion" is a not only a mouthful, but somewhat similar to Disturbed, "Phthisis" is closest to Paatos, and "FC: The Freedom Club" is like PoS: Pain of Salvation. The list goes on and on, and like I stated earlier, in any one piece, they go off in enough directions. It is only a matter of time before the songs slip from your grasp.

"The Creature" is the weirdest of all the pieces. It's discouraging and dismal and ends with some crazy dialogue. Nevertheless, it's difficult to cut power to this retched piece. In all its odd time signatures and senseless vocals, there is something alluring in there. While that may be their strangest song on the album, they end with another one that's almost as unconventional. It's called "Cockroach" and it's actually an ode to the bug by the very same name. I'm not sure if I'm more amused than confused that they actually composed a song around this grubby little insect. Either way, like most of the themes on the album, I have to admit it is an innovative one. It sure beats another sappy song about a breakup.

While there is range on this album, there is no ballad, no crazy hardcore metal, or spacey symphonic rock. While some pieces are more upbeat than others, the scope seems limited to the slower, darker, and gloomier sides of music. The vocals are dim and shady. Whatever you may think about the music, one thing is for sure, it's absolutely unlike anything you've ever heard. Some people don't like change, others always welcome it. For me, the musky scent of this sleepy gorilla happens to be a breath of fresh air.

A Hymn To The Morning Star / The Donkey-Headed Adversary Of Humanity Opens The Discussion / Phthisis / Bring Back The Apocalypse / FC: The Freedom Club / Gunday's Child / The 17-Year Cicada / The Creature / What Shall We Do Without Us? / Babydoctor / Cockroach

Dan Rathbun - bass...
Carla Kihlstedt - violin...
Nils Frykdahl - guitar...
Matthias Bossi - drums, oration...
Michael Mellender - percussion...
(each play multiple instruments... )

Grand Opening And Closing (2001)
Live (2003)
Of Natural History (2004)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: June 3rd 2005
Reviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner
Artist website:
Hits: 1221
Language: english


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