The metamorphosis of a band
Wheatus – Pop, songs & death: Vol. 2 – The Jupiter EP
The Skinny: Progeatus!
The Review proper: “In the words of the Virgin Mary: Come again?”
Pop, songs & death: Vol. 2 – The Jupiter EP. That’s a mouthful. Also, it’s not a radio-friendly record, that’s a fucking understatement. But what is it then? Well, it’s an EP showing a band flexing their musical muscles and doing whatever they want. Long keyboard stuff? Sure! 8 minute songs that jump, build and go quiet? In for a pound, in for a penny. It’s all here and all good.
Forget about whatever preconceptions you had about this band. Forget about those old ditties from 10 years ago. This is a band changed completely and it sounds so great and so organic, it hurts.
It all starts with ‘Fisherman with a clock’, a track that wields a very spacey guitar and a stream-of-consciousness style of writing. The grandiose, arena-rock like guitar returns in ‘The story of eggs’, which, even at 8 minutes, feels short. It goes from a rock number into arena and prog territory, ending up as a poppy mish mash with some distorted ambient noises. What is it? Fuck a duck, but I like it. ‘Freedom song’ is pretty cool too, again mixing several genres and letting the music walk at a leisure pace (almost a marathonic one at that), but the one song I really want to focus on is ‘So old n’ told’
Some evidence, m’lord:
“When I was a boy / there was some terrible shit that went down / still I hung around / to see if it get better / And when I was a lad / I was lonely and I was sad / But still I hung around / to see if it would get better”
Fuck me, that’s my life…
It’s one of those “funny but sad” songs that describes to a t what’s like growing up. The gallows humour in the lyrics is enveloped perfectly in a musical package that’s made up of some church organ, distorted guitars and the urge to start clapping around while singing “hallelujah!”.
After the introspective “I just sold my soul for some sweet Delta Blues” of ‘Dream about the devil’, we get a mammoth jam (TM Jack Black) called ‘Bridges to Jupiter’. Now, I know that the “prog rock” tag has been bandied about with this new Wheatus EP, and I frankly don’t listen that much to prog to make a proper judgement.
Suffice to say, this is THE track of the The Jupiter EP. Any problems (nitpicking, really) that could’ve been picked up in the other songs (too long, morose, whatever) are ironed out in this spacey tune. It’s a dynamic romp through a lot of sonic landscapes: solemn organs, ambient noises, drone, all out jams, massive drumming (which has some intentional clipping for added punch). I really can’t describe it but I hope the stream you’ve listened through this tirade sold you the idea. It’s a wonderful way to wrap up this EP. Otherworldly, really. Kudos to Wheatus, you’ve grown way beyond what I could’ve expected.
I can’t say this EP will change your life, but unless you’ve been stalking the band for long like me, it will certainly changed your perspective about them. I’ve almost all their stuff and even I got the carpet pulled from beneath my feet. Check this reinvention and get yourself a copy. It’s “pay what you want” but it really does deserve whatever you want to throw into it.