Stereolab approaches everything with a multifaceted attack. Just as they settle on no one genre, they settle on no one format. Fab Four Suture consists of three previously released 7-inch singles; the remaining six tracks are also being issued as singles in conjunction with the release of this full-length CD, which is also available as a double 10-inch vinyl record. (And this is an outfit that rails against consumerism every now and then.)
So, while this is not considered the "proper" follow-up to 2004's Margerine Eclipse that's scheduled for 2007 release it reflects the modus operandi of the group as well as any of their official releases. This is a group that is all about defying expectations.
Keep in mind that when the group debuted in 1992, the genres they were exploring lounge and French pop, bossa-nova, touches of Krautrock were extremely marginal and not widely disseminated, even among the indie elite. And while they were able to posit themselves as a worthy alternative to the breast-beating guitar-bred grunge of the time, it was as an elusive, artsy collective who named their albums with a sense of mystique and intrigue. The title of their second album, Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements, was almost truth in advertising.
Fab Four Suture begins and ends with a mesmeric, minimalist loop, "Kyberneticka Babicka Parts I and II," that sets the scene for the breezy Henry-Mancini-on-acid pop that follows. For hard-core music fans, it's a game of spotting references and admiring the kitchen-sink/melting-pot results: prog-rock for the ADHD crowd. For the average listener, it might sound baroque and bizarre. For example, "Eye of the Volcano" meshes a vaguely Celtic, Vashti BunyanÐtype melody with the band's naval horns and jittery, swooping keyboards that swerve into what sounds like a demonstration of early '80s synthesizers. "Get a Shot of the Refrigerator" swirls with the Technicolor groove of a lightweight French film score as it trips itself up with multiple time signatures. "Whisper Patch" chugs along with a doomsday whimsy that sounds like sunlight pouring through a ripped shade.
Stereolab exists in an alternate universe where Magical Mystery Tour (the movie) didn't suck and where psychedelia never gets old.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.