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An Albatross

I Am The Lazer Viking: Ace Fu Records

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According to local myth, Pittsburgh band The 1985 was recording at Plus/Minus Studios when they discovered the legendary brown sound: a bass riff so powerfully low and loud that it causes all within earshot to immediately touch cotton, if you know what I mean.

An Albatross takes that a step further. The band's mutant midget-punk (all its songs are short and stout) hits the yellow sound on I Am The Lazer Viking: I'm not kidding, 30 seconds into the opening title track, and you'll wish you had a bedpan. Not some wimpy Depends leakage, either: This is real, vitamin-laden, write-your-name-in-the-snow, spazz-soul-rawk. No wonder the band's native Philly looks like that.

But by the time you've realized what's happening, Lazer Viking's over. Its 11 songs clock in at less than nine minutes -- they could soundcheck, play a whole set, and break down before Oneida finished a tune. And while that sounds like trouble, the most ridiculous thing about An Albatross is that, when you go back and listen to this thing 50 times over (and you will), you just might realize that you missed some amazing songs while you were running to the john: AA might compress the meat, but they aren't skimping on the steak. "The Revolutionary Politics of Dance" takes all of soul's call to arms, post-modernizes it and smooshes it into a minute: "Y'got the sweatpants and sexy striped kneesocks / Our horned helmets, struttin' the bad boogaloo / Yes, it's Lazer Empowerment, children &" Songs about "The Triumph of the Lazer Viking," pelvic thrusts, Stones on pills riffs and vox & mmmm, yeah, I've got a Farfisa organ I can play really fucking fast, mmmm, I'm superbad. I gotta piss.

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