Arts Entertainments

Album Review: Phish’s Lawn Boy

5/5 STARS!

Trey Anastasio, Page Mcconnell, Mike Gordon, and Jon Fishman have created a solid album that will take you down so many new paths that it’s hard to say if you’ll find your way home. If you’re a fan of Frank Zappa, this is truly a nod to the legendary artist. The band takes expectations to another level with Lawn child. Sometimes improvised playback during recording of Council it has been polished and polished to build a prodigious collection of songs.

The band have started experimenting with a variety of ebb and flow lyrics and have started to complete each song rather than play against the music. “I’d like to lick the coil one day / like Icarus, who had to pay / with melted wax and brown feathers / he tried it on going down” recall the scattered Pink Floyd lyrics Wall and they even have some distant Christine Lynch background voices that are eerily familiar. They leave no stone unturned as they toss their coins in the hat with some country sounds.

“Reba” and “My Sweet One” bring home some amazing country tunes that have distinctive country / rock appeal. “Reba” is quite a long number for a country style song, but when the band starts to play in the middle, it is easily forgotten that the song had such a contrasting beginning. The drums during “My Sweet One” culminated with all the country stars being a powerhouse before Rockabilly sucked it in and changed direction. When harmonies are added with the fast vibrating guitar, just nothing else in the country genre.

The band doesn’t let go of the funky approach that spread all over the place Council. On “Split Open And Melt” they push the boundaries of progressive rock while giving it that polished fusion of funk and then finishing it off with a dash of barbershop singing. They then hit the end, leaving you thinking that this can only happen at the end of an album, but far from Phish following any pattern. Then the band goes into a sheer insanity that kicks off the second half of the release.

“Bathtub Gin” has lyrics that tell a story as wild as it is funny. The title could be as much about taking a serious alcohol bath as it could potentially be about the sexual act. It’s hard to say what the desired effect is, but who cares? The track is so upbeat that the lyrics are just fun to sing along. The lengthy “Run Like An Antelope” is a fitting segway into the jazz / blues title track that has Frank Sinatra making new fans. They do a great job modernizing their style, allowing the music to welcome voices for a full revival.

This is another musical experience that only Phish can achieve outside of the stadium. Rock and pop music are going to give this album a second look, but like all great albums, it’s the fans who won’t let this go unnoticed.

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