BECOME THE OTHER 1995
ONE WORD: Guitar and more guitar, and keyboards.
Unlike many other Ozric Tentacles' CD's, this one takes a second and third listen before one gets to enjoy it, at least compared to other works. It isn't bad at all, but it is different from other works. It figures to be since the line up is now different from the band that started it. Gone from the sound are the resemblance that it had to the space rock bands.
New in it, is a nice flow of "nice music" and riffs. Probably, however, is the fact that it is as once David Allen said of Gong without him, "...just nice music. " Before, when going back to Erpland (as early as I know them ), the band stood out for some songs that just grabbed you and took off in a rock idiom that just left one's ears almost breathless. This time, the sound isn't tired as it had appeared in the last CD (still nice), or anything, but it is different. For the Ozric Tentacles fan that likes such songs as Tidal Convergence,
Space Between You Ears, and the like, this album could be a disappointment. But the semblance stops there. There is much new music, and this band is no different.
Missing from this album, are some of the jams they do in concert, one comes ready to mind, that sounded like Tangerine Dream (circa 220 Live), but in many ways, this whole thing could have been an attempt at creating new material, and not a new song.
As before, the material still is guitar driven, and Cat Dna, the first song tells us that the band is still here with us. Though, it seems to have become more chord changes than before to create the spacious atmosphere that it had before. It seemed to this listener that before the changes were quite invisible, in light of the feelings they created. This time it appears that the changes are there for effect a little more than they are to create an elongated space in time with sound, as the band appeared to do before so well.
Ahu Belahu, starts off as a reminder of the Erpland days of the band, but it is short-lived. I rather enjoyed these forays into the ambience of the mind, which the band seems to be slowing down on.
Ghedengi is a rather interesting cut. Starting with a violin sound on a keyboard, it seems to be showing the band in a new different light. It is attractive, and its changes vary. It remains a soft cut through out although one may have wished that they would have developed the first theme a little more. This seems to be what is missing here, which the band may have had before. It seems that they would develop a mood and stay with it until they were done, guitars and all. Now, some of these thematic contents tend to feel like they don't last long enough.
Wob Glass, is another soft start. And it doesn't specially stand out as anything but a well designed keyboard solo.
This band is not through, and although their music, today, may not have the punch that ERPLAND, or STRANGEITUDE did at one time, but it seems to be trying to carve out a new personality, which may be better defined in the next album. For now, it appears a bit mixed. A lot of the old feeling, done in a new style, with people that are into different feelings, and styles.
But one thing is for sure.... Ed's guitar still screams... and he is sounding excellent, and better than ever. It's too bad that the depth of the previous keyboard and bass player is not there yet. Hopefully, it will by the time this band takes on America again in the spring of '96. If they do, this band will make serious waves. If they do not, then they will only be remembered for being a band with a bunch of nice albums, like Daevid Allen once said, "... just nice music, little spirit behind it ..."
Become the Other, is good, and very listenable. But one might wish that he had not heard the previous material and not gotten spoiled by it.
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