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splendid > reviews > 1/8/2004
Estradasphere
Estradasphere
The Quadrapus EP
Self-Released


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "King Krab Battle (Radio Edit)"

Buy me now
When a band describes themselves as "wacky", you should run. When they further explain that they "tackle styles from latter-day Beach Boys to death metal", I'll be right behind you. Frankly, Estradasphere sounds as if they're auditioning for a film involving side-show freaks and/or Las Vegas magicians. No style is left untouched, from polka to classic rock to sappy ballads to drum 'n' bass tinged with a capella beatboxing... hey, I said no style was left untouched!

Sure, the band are masters of each genre, totally owning whatever they play, but it begs a question -- "Just because you can, should you?" The marriage of styles, the whole jumping from one sonic universe to the next shtick, wears thin after about three tracks, and you'll wish that Estradasphere would calm down, if only for a few minutes.

It is impossible to deny the band's skill -- but haven't we said the same for Steve Vai and Bela Fleck? It's not my cup of tea (nor are the aforementioned artists), but listeners who appreciate virtuosic music that is "introspective, tongue-in-cheek yet sincere" (whatever that means) are welcome to it.



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