Estradasphere: Quadropus and Passion For LifeQuadropus
There's notably a bit less goofiness than on the first couple albums here, and while they're still using a lot of different influences, songs are just slightly less likely to completely switch directions 20 times. However, while the humor is missed a little, it's made up for with some of their coolest music. As eclectic as Buck Fever
and It's Understood
were, about the last thing you'd expect from either of them would be a straightforward, moody ballad like "Speck". The song doesn't sound out of place at all though, partially because it still has the middle-eastern influences present in other tracks. The humor isn't entirely gone, mind you - "A Car Ride In Idealistic Ethiopia" is presented as though you were listening to it on a car radio, complete with interference from other stations, "Dubway" is a mostly acapella techno song (which should be ridiculous, but it's actually pretty awesome), and "Crystal Blue" is another fun 50's rock pastiche (which, in typical Estradasphere style, is then followed by a 6 minute death metal song). Oh yeah, and there's also a Rap Metal
song about Professional Wrestling
King Krab Battle, Dubway, Speck
Passion For Life
This live album is actually a bonus disc to a DVD of the same name. However, because this is a music blog, we shall shun all visual media, even if it is directly related to the delicious aural auditory musical sounds of music. Also, I do not have the DVD.
The problem I have most often with live albums is when they don't really differ enough from the studio material. This album does a good job of avoiding that: More than half the tracks aren't on any of their studio albums - there's four non-live chiptune compositions, one goofy improvised R & B number, and three previously unheard songs. The tracks that are on the albums either get some kind of notable rearrangement ("Planet Sparkle", originally one of their chiptune style songs, is performed by a full band this time, for instance), or else just benefit from the live energy. The best example of the latter would be "Dr. Hell" (here re-titled "D-Flat Hell") - the studio version was a little stilted, but that is a great live song. The only complaints I have are that the chiptune tracks, while pretty cool, kind of disrupt the flow of the album, and that you can find Estradasphere sets on archive.org
where the sound quality is just as good.
Whoolilicious!, D-Flat Hell, Hora Bucharestu vs. Narodno Kolo (Gypsy Medley)