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splendid > reviews > 12/14/2002
Braindoll + Holy Robot
Braindoll + Holy Robot
Apostasy
Self-Released


Format Reviewed: 2xCD

Soundclip: "Zero"

Buy me now
Prog rock quintet Braindoll and Holy Robot have teamed up to create this meandering two-hour rock opera. The story goes like this: God is a space wizard who in his twilight years decides he'd like to settle down on a custom-made planet. He contracts with a group of interplanetary workers for the job, but then decides to stiff them on the tab. In retaliation, the now-miffed workers vandalize the Earth and release some demons. Mary and Jesus make an appearance, Jesus teams up with some aliens to fight God, and so on.

Musically, the result is reminiscent of mid-era Radiohead with a dash of Styx and a quasi-religious slant (apostasy means "a departure from one's religion"). The project is at its best with the more rocking songs at the opening of disc one, which are more tightly focused than the balance of the material. "Zero" recalls the guitar bliss of The Bends-era Radiohead, and begins and ends with a fetching vibrato distorted guitar line. "Brewed" sounds modeled after OK Computer's technophobic rock. While these are pretty smart accomplishments, it seems that the effort of supporting the narrative takes its toll on the songwriting (see "Hohn Ba Hazami" for example) as the opera progresses.

Even so, because of its sheer length, there is plenty of listenable music to contend with here, though Apostasy lacks the focus that would have made it a release worth really crowing about. If you're not willing to take a chance on music with a grand and spectacular vision, move along.



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