Not Your Ordinary Pharmaceuticals
Want a recipe that would make Betty Crocker shake her salad mixer? How about this: Add equal parts of prog-rock, reggae, punk, jazz, and metal, and mix them together in a bowl. Sprinkle over some socially conscious lyrics, smooth transitions, and varied time signatures. Throw it in the oven for 58 minutes. Remove, let cool, and enjoy the non-glossy dose of reality that is the music of the RX Bandits. Two years ago the Bandits set out to distance themselves from their first two albums of catchy, Reel Big Fish-like ska and adolescent angst. The result was their aptly titled 2001 release Progress, a boundary-stretching leap into a fusion of crashing power chords, jazzy instrumental breaks, spacey intros, and sudden time changes. For Progress fans looking for another sonic masterpiece or new Bandits fans alike, their latest effort, The Resignation, will not disappoint. It maintains the distinctive style and intensity of its predecessor while allowing space for further technical exploration. Frontman and vocalist Matt Embree amazes once again, supporting the ingenious blend of social dissatisfaction and artistic expression in his lyrics with a voice that can instantly delve from a throaty scream to an effortless croon. Alongside Embree, new lead guitarist Steve Choi (formerly of The Chinkees) anchors the varied compositions by supplying powerful licks on the faster tracks and a new classical guitar sound to the slowed breakdowns.
The Resignation is proof that the RX Bandits are a breath of fresh air for fans craving musical substance. Letâ€šÃ„Ã´s hope that after a second auditory feast, there is enough in this recipe for leftovers.