Opposite Day, What is is?

Opposite Day, What is is?

I like the guys from Opposite Day. I really do. Up in Austin, these guys are kind of local legends. With Sam Arnold on guitar and vocals, Greg Yancey on bass, and Pat Kennedy on drums, they’ve enjoyed a longevity that evades many bands, no matter how good they are. Not to mention that I once watched them pack it in and tear the roof off an Austin show, on a rare occasion I found myself up there.

In categorizing Opposite Day, I’d have to say they’re progressive, art-house, quirk-rock. These guys are exceptional musicians, effortlessly mixing in stunning technicality and innovative time signatures while making it feel natural and spontaneous. Opposite Day has developed such a distinct sound for themselves that I’d undoubtedly be able to identify an Opposite Day song from the first opening notes.

Regardless, the first time I heard What is is?, I didn’t like it. It had this cool, driving California-rock thing going for it that reminded me a lot of a super-light Fu Manchu, which I dug, but I just couldn’t get into the fact that it was lyrically so irreverent; too quirky for my tastes. I tend to like songs that tell a linear narrative, so hearing songs about bacterium, earthworms, and eating your vegetables wasn’t initially doing it for me.

But what can I say? If you don’t knock yourself out with the first punch, keep hitting yourself, and eventually you’ll land one hard enough that you won’t remember where you are. So after listening to What is is? enough it dawned on me that my biggest critique of Opposite Day was what made them Opposite Day — and why they were getting so many Talking Heads comparisons.

Not that all of their songs are anti-pop. “It’s Hydro, Oh” was by far their most mainstream song on the disc — although I use the term “mainstream” loosely here. All in all, it’s a great disc and thoroughly enjoyable. There is awesome production value, great musicianship, and it’s interesting and entertaining. And I loved them in concert and would see them anytime. And that’s what is is.

(Future Banana Replacement; Opposite Day -- http://www.oppositeday.com/)
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Review by . Review posted Monday, November 8th, 2010. Filed under Reviews.

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