Sunday, April 1, 2012

Miracles of Modern Science - Dog Year (2011)

1. MOMS AWAY! 04:27
2. Strangerous 03:33
3. Tensity 03:18
4. Eating Me Alive 03:25
5. Quantum Of Solace 04:52
6. Luminol 04:40
7. Friend Of The Animals 04:55
8. Space Chopper 05:16
9. I Found Space 04:20
10. The Moon & Australia 01:13
11. Bossa Supernova 04:57

I heard about this band from of all people, Jim DeRogatis, take a shot at them after seeing them at SXSW, joking how about at least they didn't have a ukele amongst their other instruments, in his 2012 South By Southwest review on last week's Sound Opinions podcast. And given some of his taste and comments, and then doing a little reading about them almost being progressive rock at times, I was curious enough.

And wow, I'm glad I was as some of this record is fan-fucking-tastic! They combine the ole chamber/proggy styles of course, emphasizing acoustics and dynamics, along with a goofyness. In other words, as I wrote on facebook last week, they kind of mix bands like Kiss Kiss the Punch Brothers and new dynamic-acoustic discovery Buke and Gass (hopefully something will come in here about them as well).

I've only listened to this record twice, but I am already so won over, I ordered a copy on Compact Disc via their bandcamp page linked above.

I guess right now, I am going to continue to listen to hear new/definitive things about it, but the things I already love about it are the dynamics, vocal arrangements/melodies/harmonies, male/female vocal contrast, the use of violin which is at times a lead instrument. And I'd say from track 5, "Quantum of Solace" through the end of the record, every track really works in some way save for I believe it is the 11th/2nd-to-last track "The Moon & Australia" which is a short interlude-ish piece that unfortunately, I hear their singer swallow a number of times, I likely will always skip.

Although I am pretty certain, said to-skip track is not the 2nd-to-last in fact, and there is a hidden track that is one of the better, more interesting, and humorous songs on this record about a man needing to get an amputation. Very much in the audio-theater vein, but some of the instrumentation on that one is as great as many of the tracks on this record.

Another specific thing that I can't leave out, even as early in my time hearing it, is the 11th track "Bossa Supernova" has a melody that is almost IDENTICAL to a melody/interval pattern on The Receiving End of Sirens song "The Rival Cycle." So much so, I don't know if I'll ever be able to not think of that song when hearing it. However, it's still a great tune, but that part is almost the same for a portion of the track.

But this band definitely has impressed me a lot; and I envision listening to this record a good amount this year, and in the distant future. Perhaps I'll get to see them live and whatnot among other things. How great this record is/becomes and where it may have ended up in my 2011 Index is a question I'll ponder, but it wouldn't surprise me if it could have finished in the top 20 or even top 10; or historically, it'll become one of those albums I'll think about as among the best albums that were released in 2011, despite the fact I didn't hear it until many months after the calendar year was over.

But for now, Miracles of Modern Science aka MOMS are a band whose scored pretty high for new bands for 2012. Hopefully some other folks will catch on to them as well soon.