Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lotion - Full Isaac - Vinyl LP on Spin Art Records

Though their influences (Bob Mould, R.E.M., My Bloody Valentine) were a tad undigested at this early stage, Lotion's debut remains one of the most inventive and unusual rock albums of 1994. Pounding drums and thick, creative bass parts bolster a dizzying array of guitar textures: crashing, cascading, chiming, wailing -- and that's just "Tear," the lead track and first single. Track two, "Dr. Link," showcases the band at its most adventurous. Twanging, almost country-ish guitar alternates with noisy thrash while an intricate bass pattern joins the bashing drums in groove-band-style synergy. The album begins to sag under the weight of its self-consciousness toward the end, but the anything-goes approach (tabla on "Long," cellos on "Around," courtesy of Rasputina) keeps things fresh most of the way through. Tony Zajkowski's high, plaintive vocals give an emotional charge to the songs, and the cryptic bits of lyrics that rise to the surface are never less than intriguing. The odd, cerebral song structures never settle into anything familiar, so each listen is like the first, an exploration of uncharted territory. This is the crux of Full Isaac's achievement: It is an album of passionate, exciting rock music that does not become predictable for a single moment.
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