Album Review: Galapagos
Symposium, the debut album from Galapagos, features four 10-minute crazy-inventive-bewildering epics that fly well beyond the horizons of any genre you’d try to place it under. This music is incredible. You’ve got the keys, guitar, bass, and drums working together in such a fresh and original style to call it progressive, alternative, funk, or math-rock would only give you the slightest idea of what Galapagos sounds like. Each track has within it an array of characteristics, but collectively you can count on the funky bass and heavy-jazz beats to fuse with the complex melodic synthesis of the keys and guitar to obliterate the expectations in your mind of what Symposium could sound like.
The energy on these tracks is expansive, always building, breaking, exploding in your ear, and then imploding in on itself. Crawling throughout the songs is a shroud of ghoulish malice transporting the listener to some backwards underworld – envision an eerie cathedral hall, brightly lit by moon and fire, and at the seat of the organ throne is Kendra Hackett summoning sounds to make imps dance and to animate bones! It’s as if the album is a dark-ritual straight from the pages of some secret ancient tome of the funky undead.
Ghastly, and most definitely alive, the music expresses a story. In each of the ballads you may find a different meaning, but you always find the heart. There’s passion in the progressions, the breadth of each of the songs is a just a ride through this unknown musical perspective being revealed to you in each given note. When you think you know where the musical vehicle is taking you, Galapagos slams on the gas and drives straight off a cliff in a torrent of delicious shred-mastery only to find that the laws of physics don’t apply in the Galapagos universe, and your sudden onset of fear becomes transmuted into pure joy in the amusement that this music is just a ride through a different part a town, some place you haven’t been yet, some place you’ve never even heard of.
I don’t know where Symposium came from, but I like it. And it is to no surprise, as musicians, the members of Galapagos are among the most talented in Bellingham. Symposium is a testament to the initial success and adoration they’ve accumulated recently here in town, and their debut-album is nothing less than spectacular. Much promise is in the future for the musical prospects of Galapagos, as with all truly original sounds, the inventive nature of the Galapagos songwriting style can lead us only to predict that there sound will always be unpredictable. Check out Symposium, soak in the creative juices, and enjoy the fresh, crisp, taste of the Galapagos sound.