Music » CD Reviews

The Evening Episode

The Physicist Has Known Sin (Slowdance)

by

comment
47900.0.jpeg
Sacramento's the Evening Episode copped the name of its debut from physicist Robert Oppenheimer and its sound from musical alchemists like Portishead, Stereolab, and Four Tet, among others. The result is brainy, cut-and-paste rock that blends the organic and electronic so assuredly that it often sounds like the group's been at it for years (it formed in 2004).

Disc-opener "High-Low" begins with programmed beats and computerized key bleats playing a simple child's melody, then piles on layers of guitars, keys, and vocals over the processed beats, building into a luminous conclusion. Elsewhere the formula is reversed; songs like "New Love" and "Nightmares" feature shimmering guitar glissandos and tightly coiled percussion dissolving into gentle song fragments built on loops and samples. "Learn Your Ps & Qs" burns hotter, not unlike Sleater-Kinney covering the Cocteau Twins. Teresa Eggers' vocals -- Hope Sandoval's narcotic slur crossed with Beth Gibbons' whisper -- float harmlessly over the programmed beats or squalling guitars, pleasant enough but without lasting lyrical effect. In fact, The Physicist glows most brightly during its instrumental moments, when the intricate programming is unencumbered by vocals or lyrics. Still, it's a promising debut from a young band worth keeping tabs on.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, 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 news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene 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 Cleveland and beyond.

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 Cleveland's true free press free.