Let Us Now Listen To The Discographies Of Various Musicians

Mike K

Estradasphere: Buck Fever

*Buck Fever* (2001)

Now this is where things start to come together. There isn't another "Hunger Strike" style epic here, but otherwise this is an improvement over the debut in every way: The songs generally feel like they have more direction to them no matter how many genres they channel-surf through and the mix is much clearer and uses more stereo separation.

It's not just a more professional-sounding version of the debut though, a few new elements are thrown in: There's a few nods to surf rock and a little bit more emphasis on their funky side. There's even a little bit more use of vocals this time: They're still primarily an instrumental band, but "The Silent Elk Of Yesterday" is a surprisingly credible-sounding stab at black metal, "Meteor Showers" turns into a hilarious (and catchy) doo-wop tune at one point, and "The Dapper Bandits" includes some mock-hard boiled detective style narration.

I don't think I've gotten into how funny this band can be. Yes, mostly-instrumental songs can be funny: There's lots of musical juxtapositions and combinations that are intentionally ridiculous, as well as things like "Green Hill", a pastiche of the music from the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, complete with the sound of someone pressing the pause button to go eat a bag of chips, then blowing on the cartridge once it freezes up on them. Actually, aside from having more of a jazz influence, I think maybe this is a key difference they have from Mr. Bungle. Mr. Bungle started de-emphasizing humor once they added some more "serious" elements to their music (see California), whereas Estradasphere combine many of those same influences with humor.

Key Tracks: Buck Fever, Feed Your Mama's Meter, The Silent Elk Of Yesterday

On a side note: I was amused to look at their last.fm tags and see such things as "comedy", "death metal", "klezmer", "electronica", and "the soundtrack to a blowjob in heaven". Thing is, depending upon what song you're listening to (or what part of a song you're listening to), basically all of those fit. Well, ymmv on what a blowjob in heaven should sound like, but other than that.