Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Album Review: The Iceman Special - Zycordia

The Iceman Special
*** out of *****

From the freaked out cover art of The Iceman Special's newest full length, Zycordia, a listener could get a pretty good sense of the trippy tunes before the needle even hits the vinyl. The New Orleans based jamband/psych/prog/swamp rockers deliver a collage of sounds throughout the interesting record that keep the listener on edge.  

The quartet of Will Murry: Vocals & Guitar, Steve Staples: Guitar, Charlie Murry: Bass, Hunter Romero: Drums, start things off with the albums title track that uses background singers laying into the unique title with levels of drama as the four piece deliver grooves containing scratchy effects around the edges; a common theme running throughout all the songs here. 

Even when things seem semi-straight ahead, such as on the slow groove of "Round Corners", the band uses enough noise, riffs and pedal effects to warble the edges, keeping an ominous sense of unease percolating on the fringes of the record. 

That sense of foreboding, floats into the hard swamp rock of "Lagniappe Love", which bubbles up from the bayou with help of Joe Krown's organ. Another guest, Mike Dillon (percussion/vibraphone) arrives to give the prog-inspired "Fourth Party" a sense of Caribbean percussion. 

The revved up psych rock of "Wig Splitter" stomps the pedal down with a slamming chorus to go with the tripped out tune while "Translation Fixation" goes in the different direction, floating blissfully with soft sounds, an added vibraphone from Dillon, and an overall feeling of easy going luxury. The album highlight arrives next as "Pressure Pleasure" uses the warbling sense of disorientation with loads of stop on a dime changes, punching beats, and a ripping solo; the short album could use more like this.  

The group close out things out with the instrumental "Zygomorphic Doctrine", again mixing up the sounds by starting off acoustic and light, before building up to a dramatic peak and then an easy sense of release to close. The young group is still evolving and Zycordia by the The Iceman Special is a solid start on a long, weird, journey.  
Support the artists, buy the album, peep some video below:

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