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Album review: Gemini Revolution - Gemini Revolution

Album review: Gemini Revolution - Gemini Revolution

Every time I try to review this album, I get distracted by something shiny. It’s like my mind goes on a little “this one time, at band camp …” journey to some weird place where I have fierce opinions on those that demand I wear shoes and the only important thing to me is contemplating if my head could fit inside the Styrofoam cup I’m drinking from. I’m pretty sure I’d make it, but my face contends otherwise. This argument goes on for at least twenty-five minutes before I remember I was intently listening to a new album. Fortunately for me, this is the perfect music for that sort of thing.

My new found ADHD aside, Gemini Revolution is an LP from Gemini Revolution, a psychedelic KC jazz rock outfit. I had originally heard the material in the form of two separate EPs, but it comes across as a much stronger effort in the full album form. Whereas in shorter doses it was difficult to determine which direction this group was going in, the album provides a perfect layout of its style. Oceans of swirling synthesizers crash amongst the sparse jazzy rhythm section. Along comes the occasional island of sandy white vocals, reverberating near and far in the high-sky sun, but soon once again you are left swimming in the moody psychedelic depths.

The songs seem very loose form at first listen, bordering absent-minded at times, often extending into seemingly bottomless jams, but start to exude consistent melody and intent as you go deeper down the rabbit hole. Whereas trends in pop music usually dictate a song lives or dies by its beat and vocals, Gemini Revolution seems to take pride in the fact it uses both of those things as just another tool in the box.

The opening track features the strongest sense of songwriting and vocal variety. The female background "ahs" provide a soothing and serene balance to the almost-too-harshly-reverbed main vocal. This song features the most accessible hook on the record and is passed effortlessly amongst the various instrumentation. The song trails out with a well orchestrated guitar/keyboard outro that leaves a pleasant pop taste in your mouth.

Another standout is "Through the Woods." The vocals are reverbed to the point I can’t really understand them (and even my most skilled “Gemini Revolution lyrics” Google searches don’t turn anything up), but this song exudes an aura of adventure and exploration. It really hits home during the sections in which the female vocal teases back and forth with a lush collaboration of keyboards. These sections are probably my favorite moments from the entire record. This would be a great song to zone out to while enjoying a nice leisurely Sunday afternoon space flight, just throw your hair back and enjoy the solar flares.

All in all, Gemini Revolution really hammer home who they are with this effort. There are no pop pretenses here, no playbooks or rules they choose to follow. It is pure music exploration into the cosmos. Solid and unconfined.

Gemini Revolution is (L to R above):
Dedric Moore
Mika Tayana
Delaney Moore

Gemini Revolution's new self-titled album was released by Upstairs Recordings (Canada) and is now available on iTunes. The band will be performing at POP Montreal on Thursday, September 20. If you want to see them a little closer to home, they'll be playing at 7:00 pm Sunday, September 23 for the release of the local compilation CD from Midwest Music Foundation. Double CDs are free at the door. 

--Zach Hodson

Zach is a lifetime Kansas City resident who plays multiple instruments and sings in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black and Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to many other Kansas City music, art, and comedy projects.  He is very fond of edamame, treats his cat Wiley better than he treats himself, and doesn't want to see pictures of your newborn child (seriously, it looks like a potato).

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Published: September 18, 2012 |

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