"Ice Cycles" (Inside Out Music America)
Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter
I'll admit that I didn't expect to see a new Platypus disc so soon, but
who's to argue when these four talented individuals want to add another set of songs to their promising debut?
Platypus deliver eight tracks of radio-friendly rock that should be on the radio, but probably won't ever be played on the radio. From the up-tempo, positive-thinking of "The Tower" to the reflective "Better Left Unsaid" Platypus create thoughtful, upbeat moods. The ode of missed opportunities "Gone" is a serious turn, but has a smoldering slow-burn that provides the disc with a dramatic undercurrent. The progressive end to "Cry" is satisfying in a King's X/Dream Theater hybrid and the vocal performance of "I Need You" raises the bar for Tabor's future singing efforts.
As with Platypus' debut, the best tracks on "Ice Cycles" are instrumentals; the up-tempo "25" and wildly inventive "Partial To The Bean" are interesting jams that really rock out.
Overall, the music is a little bit more mainstream this time around, yet the combination of talent still makes it more palatable than most material on the radio these days. Tabor's Christian-tinged lyrics are a little more explicit on "Ice Cycles," but not overtly so. The musical skills of Tabor, Myung, Morgenstein, and Sherinian blend well together and proves that the debut "When Pus Comes To Shove" was no fluke.
Platypus is Ty Tabor (King's X), John Myung (Dream Theater), Rod Morgenstein (The Dixie Dregs), and Derek Sherinian (Planet X).
For more information visit http://www.dreamtheater.net/platypus.
"When Pus Comes to Shove" (Velvel Records; 1998)
Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter
What do you get when you cross King's X, Dream Theater, and the Dixie Dregs? Well, you get a platypus - Platypus the super group. Platypus consists of Ty Tabor of King's X, Rod Morgenstein of Dixie Dregs, John Myung of Dream Theater, and Derek Sherinian, formerly of Dream Theater. This super group is one of the more refreshing side projects to have been put together in recent years. Side projects often lack the ability to make a coherent musical statement; that's not the case with "When Pus Comes To Shove."
Some tracks would fit in nicely on a King's X record; that's not too hard to figure out as Ty Tabor is the driving force behind Platypus. The ballads "Nothing To Say" and "I'm With You," the social consciousness of "Willie Brown," and the up-tempo rocker "Standing In Line" wouldn't seem out of place at all on a King's X record.
However, the best tracks are when the band simply lets the music do the talking. "Rock Balls/Destination Unknown," "Platt Opus." "Blue Plate Special," and "Chimes" allow the band to pursue tangents that never lose sight of the melody or the song itself. Tabor's tasty riffs and lead licks, Myung's versatile bass runs, Sherinian's instantly recognizable keyboard and organ sound, and Morgenstein's diverse drumming makes a surprisingly sturdy platform for Platypus' music.
For more information visit the Platypus section on the Dream Theater homepage at http://www.dreamtheater.net/platypus/.
A classic. This record will kick your ass.
Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.
So-so. You've heard better.
Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.
Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.
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