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Float the Boat, Vile Blue Shades

Local CD Reviews: Basement Tsunami, Live!

By Kolbie Stonehocker
Posted // November 29,2013 -

Float the Boat Basement Tsunami 3_stars.gif
The first sound that will float through your ears when listening to avant-garde psychfunk band Float the Boat’s debut album is a buzzy, resonating didgeridoo—and the strangeness level only goes up from there. The 10 tracks are strikingly original, with a level of creativity that seems like it was bestowed upon the five band members by aliens while they were visiting the Spiral Jetty, which is where the cover photos were taken. The songs jump around in style, but what the album lacks in cohesion, it makes up for in its ability to keep the listener on their toes. “Bwomp” is an instrumental piece that proves synths and didgeridoo can indeed mesh, with a thumping beat sewing it all together. The wordplay on piano-driven jammer “Playground” is earworm-worthy. The weirdness peaks on “Ignoramus Bonanza,” a strange but catchy number with a surreal dream narration around the halfway point that adds an interesting layer to the album’s spacey feel. Oct. 12, self-released, FloatTheBoat.

Vile Blue Shades Live! in Salt Lake or Live! in Denver (I Don’t Remember) 2_5_stars.gif
The sixth (and final) album from the Vile Blue Shades succeeds in bottling all the unstructured, uninhibited and unconcerned manic energy of the rock outfit’s live show. Recorded at The Urban Lounge and Denver’s Meadowlark Bar, the 15 tracks include some oldies (“Under Watchful”), some new-ish stuff (“All Our Favorite Songs Are Red Bennies Songs”) and lots (emphasis on lots) of crowd banter and goofing around. The sound itself is crisp and balanced, planting the listener directly in the eardrum-blowing zone smack in front of the stage. Vocalist Ryan Jensen alternates between laughing insanely, growling, screaming and, on “Retarded Monkeys,” making bizarre “ooh ooh, aah aah” sounds during the chorus, all to an entertaining effect. If you were one of the 300 folks who snagged the killer physical version of the album—featuring an illustrated handwritten lyrics booklet and one of three covers (Sri Whipple’s is pictured)— count yourself lucky. If you didn’t, download away at Oct. 31, 8ctopus Records.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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