Indie. Passion. Art. Music.
There’s a first time for everything obviously or there wouldn’t be anything….Canned philosophy lesson aside it was during one of my Reddit induced insomnia sessions that I discovered the science/math pun titled band Pterofractyl. Needless to say the music felt appropriate enough to feature on this weird little blog of mine, so here we are. I really need to stop breaking the fourth wall so much(prime example). So my lucky little readers, you will be happy to know that is not one long overly artsy album title rather those are two regular sized album titles, yes, this is a DOUBLE REVIEW (you have to say it in one of those monster truck show voices to get the effect)!!! By the way all caps and extra exclamation points were definitely necessary so stop being so damn cynical; what, can’t a man get excited these days? Off track and arriving late, I’d be a horrible train conductor, so as I frequently say let’s get to the music.
The Responsible Artist is the first EP released by Pterofractyl and the album is decent for the most part with a few minor issues that will surely get me accused of nitpickery, but I digress . The concept the album attempts to address is an important one in that all artists should engage themselves in a meaningful way and ask the question, “Is what I am doing bringing value to my viewers, listeners,audience, etc? And is it possible to create something that both fulfills my need to create and my audience’s need to consume without sacrificing artist integrity?” Yes, the material is heady but I was still slightly skeptical as heady does not always translate into amazing music, and a concept without an ability to connect is a wasted effort. Luckily the missteps aren’t quite that grave, and as a matter of fact the music is poised to impress, just be patient as the album is a grower.
On my initial listen to the 5 song EP there were a few places that left me in limbo. The vocals leave a bit to be desired; there seems to be a consistent tone utilized throughout , which is a shame as Zach is a good vocalist with an unusual voice and cadence. In essence it would be interesting to hear Zach use his voice as a weapon or instrument and play around with it some more. The other thing that caught my attention was the heavy repetition in some places, while some won’t have a problem with this at points the songs felt like they were stuck in a loop.
Now that the gripes are out of the way let’s focus on the positives. Sound wise Pterofractyl rest somewhere amongst: 80’s new wave, math rock , electronic music, and noise rock. The Responsible Artist is pretty bad-ass, weird, and catchy. The instrumentals work in a cohesive manner, and facilitate the sense that this whole album takes place in or near a computer. The tone of the music shifts from song to song adding variety to the whole shebang, for instance you have the almost Gregorian sounding “Taking Time” followed up by the happy and laconic “Bird Lady.” The Responsible Artist is a 5’oclock shadow that turns into a lumberjack beard. There are a few patches that initially bother you, but you are overall happy with what you have, and then later on down the line you truly appreciate the music as it latches onto your face.
Overall Score : 3/5
Standout Tracks: Bird Lady, The Early Mark, Hissy Fit
Hey audience Imma let you finish but (retro joke) The Missing Animal is pretty damn awesome and I’d be pretty irresponsible if I didn’t talk about it a little bit. The sound this time around is definitely reminiscent of chip tunes and video game music, as each of the tracks on the album sounds like a prelude to an old school boss fight, only to morph into a fully fleshed out honest to goodness Post Rock symphony. The odd math rock time signatures are still there, but the repetition is all but gone on this little venture.
The interesting thing about The Missing Animal is that Pterofractyl opted out on vocals, and although on the first venture out I felt the vocals could use a little bit of flare they were overall decent ; it will be interesting to see what the guys decide to do next as they are competent enough to go in either direction obviously. Coming in at just under 15 minutes with 3 tracks; The Missing Animal is an interesting companion piece to The Responsible Artist definitely worth taking a look at if you missed out on it.
Together the two albums display a band willing to take risks and in doing so reward themselves by progressing and their fans by giving them a different side to the music they have grown fond of . With that said just buy them both together, because chances are if you like on you’ll like the other.
Overall Score: 3.5 /5
Standout Tracks: All 3
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