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Rollerball
Rollerball
Trail of the Butter Yeti
Road Cone

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Rollerball is kind of like Rohypynol -- be very careful if someone decides to drop it into the nearby CD player after a seemingly well-intentioned rendezvous. As a matter of fact, be alert if you even hear the word Rollerball uttered. Why? Rollerball has the ability to slowly derail your train of thought by bonding slow moving, trance-like melodies onto your aural receptors, clouding your vision and eventually lulling your system into a hypnotic state.

You see, Rollerball is not your everyday free-form-flood-of-quirky-oddly-timed-numbers group. Rather, there's something expectedly, well, unexpected about each musical maneuver these musicians take. Try as you might, it's quite difficult to anticipate the strange guitar effects and blurted saxophone lines that trickle from each of these eleven tunes. This is the type of stuff that can permanently alter your thought processes, forcing you to wonder whether straightforward, 4/4-time pop music will ever again do anything for you.

I knew it -- you're one of those curiosity seeking, experimental types, aren't you? The type who, if someone says not to touch something, has to get his/her fingerprints on said item immediately. So be it...damn college kids. Besides garnering praise for the elaborate anti-jewel-box packaging, Rollerball's bizarrely-titled Trail of the Butter Yeti will enchant you with its innovative musical endowments.

Other than reminding me of my beloved grandparents' deceased German Shepherd, Smokey, and his ravenous pork obsession, the aptly titled "Smokey Loved Bacon" has a fiendish quality about it that invokes the spirit of Italian film score kings Goblin, using wicked percussion to provide an enchanting backdrop. The intricate reed instrument work on "Pest" elevates the mood to a higher spiritual plane as its sinuous notes and methodical drumbeats reverberate through your body, while coyly twisting your conception of contemporary music. The piano-centric "Lon Chaney" may be the most accessible number here; it uses marching band horn arrangements to guide you into its marvelous choruses, while exceptionally haunting and psychedelic female vocals strike a chord for posterity’s sake, rounding out the track perfectly.

Ultimately, Rollerball provides total relaxation through the odd medium of continued stimulation. As your swelling brain processes each of these beautiful numbers, you'll find yourself moseying off into kooky-land, a globule of drool swelling from your lip, your eyes glazed over with absolute content. Trail of the Butter Yeti is easily the most engaging release to date from Road Cone. It's a disc that will captivate your senses, listen after listen.

-- Andrew Magilow
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