08 December 2017 (released)
20 December 2017
They are the Eggmen! Not since Lennon's Carrollian rant 'I Am the Walrus' has the egg figured so prominently in a piece of recorded music. The cover of "If You're So Smart, Why Are You So Sad?", the debut EP from sonic cosmonauts NYDTyson pays homage to nature's resilient vessel of life in 2001: A Space Odyssey style, making the egg a monument of reverence with the band's two masterminds crudely photoshopped in, kneeling in worship. The cover is fairly indicative of the content within. Lofty topics approached with a DIY garage attitude and more than a pinch of self-effacing humour to keep it all honest. But make no mistake, the music is GOOD. Gritty, sputtering guitars and found-object percussion may be the dirty colours in their palette but the creativity and execution are exquisite. Nick Campbell and Eric Radloff met in a music program in college and in Jonny Greenwood fashion, took their education and veered off in a completely different tangent, making songs with a deep understanding of how musical themes connect with zero attachment to convention. The result is a stunning album of epiphanic heights mixed with grungy, messy splayed insides.
The opener (and I suppose thematic focal point?) 'Egg' emerges innocently enough. A lightly trodding, eccentric beat of clanging metal parts and clicking spokes evolves to incorporate a quirky bass and guitar tweaking in tandem. The egg cracks and in shines a beam of light. The bass fuzzes out while mechanical-gospel vocal hits accentuate the off-kilter madness. In a mutating climax, Nick Campbell's spastic bass comes to the fore with a bubbling and ripping bass solo to carry this nutty trolly to its final destination.
'What Did You Say?' strips away the dreamy soundscapes and plots out a straight-ahead garage rock banger. Damn catchy tune. Hipster playlisters take note. Likewise 'Neanderthal' is raucous like a beast lashing out. Think less dancey DFA1979. Sludgey bass and rumble drums. The last two tracks soften up, exposing a tender underbelly to the monster.
NYDTyson manage to present a constantly unfolding piece of music across their five-track EP that never once loses the fun that most progressive music leaves in the dust like a defective appendage. Bands like The Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon's Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger have found a way to create theatric soundscapes within progressive music while maintaining that levity and zaniness that keeps the music from becoming pretentious. NYDTyson have struck that same balance and have come up with a record that will stick in people's minds for a long time to come.