What Is Is? (Future Banana Replacement)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., May 22, 2009
Opposite DayWhat Is Is? (Future Banana Replacement)
Opposite Day comes from the Mike Patton/Frank Zappa school of spaz-funk, but on its latest, the local trio evolves beyond slap bass and Madonna covers. More melody abounds on disc No. 4, as in "Hungry Kitchen," where the harmonic spray of chorus ("They're not human") is swept up by Oingo Boingo-ish verses. Animals and science are common in Opposite Day compositions, so on opener "Bacteria Know Everything," when singer/guitarist Sam Arnold states, "They look like fun bacteria; they look locomotive photosynthetic," it sounds like both gibberish and truth. Hyperspeed rant via the title track pits bassist Greg Yancey's four-string fluidity against Arnold's internal editor, as does the more streamlined "Current Currency Current." There are moments of deceleration (a cover of the Beatles' "Martha My Dear" never quite takes off), but there's nothing wrong with putting a little thought back under the microscope.