Pennsylvania-based noise rock/nintendocore band Albatross is back after a decade-long hiatus with an EP titled Return of the Lazer Viking out on all major streaming platforms. The EP includes the title track “Return of the Lazer Viking” along with one other track, “Mort Blue”, released on the Electric Suits 23 label. The band describes the EP as “total splatter” and “futuristic psychedelic soul prog for the new century.”
The EP took two years to record and includes vocalist Edward B. Gieda III, percussionist Steven Vaiani, Kat Paffett on keyboards, guitarist Harry Lannon and Bubba Ayoub on modular synthesizers. Dan Kishbaugh and Jay Hudak of Panther Pro Audio and Creep Records Studios provided supervision for the recordings which were mastered by Alan Douches of West Side Music. Additional field recordings were made in India and France.
The EP is the band’s fifth studio album and is devoted to the memory of the Gieda’s late wife, Amanda Medina, who helped the singer write the lyrics for the song “Return of the Lazer Viking” in 2017.
“Return of the Lazer Viking” and “Mort Blue” are pretty short songs finishing in at 2:45 and 1:00 respectively. This EP doesn’t stray too much in style from prior releases, with the exception that the new EP appears to be a little less melodic with faster tempos and a few new synth timbres. The vocals sound relatively the same, as do the guitars and drums.
“Return of the Lazer Viking” starts off with church bell chimes and a ticking clock reminiscent of something from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, but after that the song takes on a very different feel. With pounding drums, random time signatures, intense synths, a screaming voice, the song is extremely diverse.
“Mort Blue” has nearly the same level of intensity as “Return of the Lazer Viking” but lightens up a touch when it comes to time signature changes. There are tempo changes, but overall the song sounds almost like old school New York hardcore with keyboards and synthesizers.
The band is considered to be spazz-core, noise rock and nintendocore, however according to YellowTheNewPink.com, the band stated “We consider ourselves being part of a d.i.y. scene that includes a lot of different things. So I believe we consider ourselves a broader part of an independent underground community. We’ve also played a show with a rave and electronic music shows. Pretty diverse, very diverse.