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CD REVIEW: Specimen 37 - 'The Endless Looping Game'
By Steve Allat - 06/19/2005 - 06:22 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Specimen 37
Album: 'The Endless Looping Game'
CD Review: Label: Independent
Tracks: 11
Released: 2004
For Fans Of: Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, Rush
Fav Tracks: Awake With A Shock, What is Life?, Monday

A concept album, which interestingly follows a certain 'Specimen 37' individual through a week of life and his quest to find meaning in meaninglessness, or perhaps just to live and try to understand it. Smartly interjected real-life sounds & scenarios help to flavour the almost 70 minutes of music.

As you may expect there is a wide variety of sounds & styles and also tempo changes, which suits what the average person may experience as 'moods' in an average week. The overall sound is heavy and dark, ripe with guttural guitar and floating space-synth. A very solid foundation is laid on drum & bass, allowing guitar & synth the freedom for open expression. The importance of this cannot be understated, as too often a project such as this meanders all over and loses focus, thus losing the listener's attention at the same time. Specimen 37 have managed to stay focused and provide us nice, basic grooves to hold onto while the story drifts above and entertains.

The tone is futuristic and dark with vocals being mostly glorified spoken word. The lead voice suits the theme of the music perfectly - very human and very real within the soundscape of inventedness.
This project is very interesting and well put together. Songs flow together well, just like the days of the week. It's almost like listening to a movie, as there is enough information and character development to draw you in. And, of course, you can listen over and over.
The female voice didn't quite fit for me on 'Monday', but when there is spoken word, she's great. A little more, to bring balance, would have been appreciated.

As interesting as their songs are the bands names, so I have to mention them:
On guitar, vocals and synths is Empathy.
Synths, vocals and samples are arranged by Gee-roj.
Mojonine pounds the drums, and
None other than the Sketch Element lays down the groove on Bass.
Empathy and Gee-roj combine to write the tunes as well.
A solid lineup, all extremely adept at expressing themselves with their instrument of choice.

At almost 70 minutes, the disc is a bit long and a slight bit tedious for some reason. It's not that the music isn't interesting, but there is a commonality to it that I was expecting to break almost completely for a track of two, just for added interest. Other than that, it's well worth a listen (or two, or more!) - you won't hear anything else quite like it out there today.

Contact: Lexi, Low Budget Superhero
Website: Specimen 37


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