The Disco Biscuits

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Records

The Disco Biscuits

They Missed the Perfume (Megaforce)

Now that the Dead is dead and Phish has beached itself, what's a jam band fan to do? How 'bout explore new technology and fresh ideas? That's just what bands like the New Deal, Sound Tribe, and the Disco Biscuits are doing, while combining this admittedly loose genre's worthy components -- improvisation, ever-changing live shows. The Biscuits comprise drum, bass, guitar, and keyboards, and on this, their second LP, the Philly-based quartet continues the jam band ethic of happy, spacey vibe music, yet with a significant use of gee-whiz technology and Moog-like blips. The synthesized lurches and digital splashes of "Spacebirdmatingcall" announce that this isn't the usual jam band fare, but then by taking a page from Phish's barely-in-key songbook, the tune becomes a bit painful. With meandering construction and lack of respect for editing, the title of the 13-minute "Mindless Dribble" ends up being more descriptive than ironic. The most digestible tune, "Home Again," comes across like Jerry Garcia playing with Phish at a hippie rave. The jam band pitfall has always been capturing live spontaneity in the studio, and in They Missed the Perfume, the Disco Biscuits fall with the rest of them. Given that the group has been known to rework Western classical pieces in their three-hour concerts, next time, a live album may be in order. (Saturday, March 17, Waterloo Park, 5:30pm)

**

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