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
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.