Monday, November 21, 2011

REVIEW: The Answer Team - O Sad And Future Human

7.5 out of 10

Omaha Nebraska has been a hotbed of musical activity dating back as far as the 1920's. Jazz clubs and underground nightspots were once home to some of the most prominent staples in Jazz, Blues and Swing history. There has been a notable music scene to be found in Omaha at any point in time ever since. It wasn't until the early 1990's that Omaha began it's gradual reign as one of the biggest independent music scenes in the Midwest. The Answer Team is certainly helping to fuel this fire with their debut album, "O Sad And Future Human".

Formed in 2006, Thomas McCauley and Brandon Bone started jamming together in college, and thus began a foundation that would eventually evolve into The Answer Team. After a few years of "revolving door" band members and a brief stint with vocals, their niche was found with the help of now permanent fixtures, Jason Bejot and Dustin Treinen. This finely tuned niche I speak of can be summed up by just simply calling them an instrumental Post Rock band, but this would be an understatement, and quite frankly, an insult to the band itself. The album opener, "Where's The Sun" is a gorgeous yet deceptive tune, it begins with a bit of feedback and distorted chords sugarcoated with light, melodic anticipation; all the makings of a build-up that begs for an explosion of angst-ridden vocals and rapid guitar riffs. Fortunately, it takes a refreshing detour into a beautiful, arpeggio-rich frolic. It's almost like a lone flower growing out of a crack in the middle of a gritty city sidewalk. This sets the tone for the whole album. On "Does This Shirt Make Me Look Dead?", uplifting layers of violin and a defiant, thunderous rhythm make this track as powerful as it is heart wrenching. The occasional spoken word interlude and a captivating solo piano track serve as palate cleansers for the ears and mind. There are no shortages of gems here.

"O Sad And Future Human" paints an honest and extremely well structured portrait of a journey through the emotional spectrum. Whether you're an avid Post Rock lover or an occasional visitor of the genre who feels that a little goes a long way, there is something here for you. This is a strong debut by a group who I hope will continue to produce beautiful music for years to come. For fans of Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Pelican, This Will Destroy You and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Standout tracks: Where's The Sun, Does This Shirt Make Me Look Dead?, A Hero's Aftermath, A New Look At Marilyn Monroe

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