Pet Genius - Pet Genius
Former Cave-In frontman Stephen "Stovetop" (wtf) Brodsky has been a busy bee over the past few years; projects include New Label Society, The Octave Museum and this one, Pet Genius, with Cave-In's former drummer J.R. Conners and Octave Museum bassist Johnny Northrup. I used to dig Cave-In and there are some parts on this s/t album that might remind you of their glory days, but not much; Brodsky's direction nowadays is just more and more poppier than what I remember. But, to say it's a bad thing, especially on this album, would be a crying shame.
All over Pet Genius one will find the ecclectic and empassioned songwriting of Brodsky on full display; he has his way with roaring power grooves and executes tightly, as do the rest of the guys. The sound, thick with reverb and laden with hooks at every turn, comes off as a sort of stoner pop-rock; the kind of stuff QOTSA has been tampering with. Only somehow Pet Genius manage to make it more their own, deftly blending elements of their former bands and an essense of psychadelic transcendentalism that swirls in and out of your earspace like beams of grooviness and body-thumping delight.
Check out the monster groove of "Man of the Mountain" or the jaggedly smooth "The Visiting Dynamiter" for some fantastic examples of Cave-In's hiatus creating new sounds and new directions. Brodsky is one of the more accomplished and talented songwriters out there today, as most of his projects can attest, and Pet Genius is one of his best.
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