"Good Morning Mr. Good" kicks off with "La Renard," a frantically discombobulated retread of a Led Zeppelin riff, with vocalist Christian Powell scat-shouting his lyrics. Though Jimmy Page has been oft-copied, it's probably never been so simultaneously blatant and bizarre. Though Ring, Cicada has been around for nearly seven years, they've waited until now -- after years of live shows and low-profile singles -- to release a full-length debut. And it shows. The band is tight but still possessed of the live fire that makes young bands so interesting. Though the band's songs can be incredibly complex (sometimes to the point of unnecessary intricacy), the math-rock approach is heavy on the rock, and the band never lets tempo changes get in the way of a good, clean bulldozing. Powell doesn't step up to the mike all that often (his primary job is as a guitarist), but when he does, the arrangements he utilizes are nearly as Byzantine as that of the instrumentation. What makes "Mr. Good" so invigorating though is that, despite Ring's obvious dexterity and musical intelligence, the band is not afraid to use a good rock riff as the basis for its explorations. For proof, listen to the aforementioned "La Renard," as well as tracks like "March," which simultaneously swing with Skynyrd-style swagger and dork off into outer space.
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