Genetics: Dr. Spookymuffin
Words By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)
Once I got past the name of the album, I dove into the first track, “INS” which featured Pete Wall on saxophone, and Lotus’ percussionist Chuck Morris. The dreamy funk was eclectic but had shades of various other artists from Moe to the Ozric Tentacles. There was also a brief musical nod to “Inspector Gadget.” “Whale Song” continued the trend towards progressive instrumental funktronica grooves and amped up the energy. I really enjoyed the energy and vibe of the song. “RED” was a short tune with increasing reckless abandon. At first I thought I was heading for a Floyd-inspired tune, but as the beat kicked in, the tune had a far more aggressive element. It created a nice contrast to the next tune. “Osirus” featured Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters on banjo, and seemed to completely change the complexion of the album. The tune explored a folky soundscape with Olde World musical elements, though I couldn’t quite identify exactly which elements. Celtic? Maybe. The instruments all sounded nice and clean, but a bit subdued. Perhaps it was intentional as it made everything have a somewhat sub-conscious feel.
“Numerality” had a developing enthusiasm. It seemed to gain momentum as the band got deeper into the song. It may have been one of my favorite tracks on the album, and it was honestly pretty close to the sound I’d been looking for lately. I’ve been on the hunt for laid back, groovy, electrofunk, and the overall vibe of the album fit the bill. The end of “Numerality” featured some Umphrey’s-esque guitar work, and served to snap me out of their hypnotizing groove-garden. “Trident” brought more of the rock element to the foreground, though the electronic element still factored heavily. The mastering throughout the album was excellent, and I found myself really excited for the guys in the band. They had put together a quite solid debut effort. “Toss N’ Wash” fit in the framework of the album nicely and provided a sunny kind of element. The bright guitar tone was as crisp and clean as fresh laundry… maybe that’s where the name came from.
“Metrognome” began with a videogame vibe, and quickly morphed into some fat, wet funk. Traversing a variety of styles and emotions, the song seemed to be pulling on some energy from a high tech studio in the untouched wilderness. I was sure the title influenced my brain in that assessment, but, so be it. “Once Again” mellowed things out and gave my ears room to breathe for a moment. There was some slick guitar work on that tune also. The title track rounded out what I felt was a tight studio effort for the Michigan-turned-Coloradoan band. For an entirely instrumental album, I was surprisingly engaged with the music throughout the whole. Nothing got stale.
While I felt the album's title was probably better reserved as a pet name for a beloved Golden Retriever, the music had far more substance. I guess with a name like Genetics I was hoping the album would be called something like "Chromosome" or something. Regardless, the album was a nice journey through electro groovescapes and I left satisfied.