Schizophrenology

The Majestic Twelve

Independent Release, 2006

REVIEW BY: Brian Birnbaum

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/29/2006

Remember the good ole’ days when good bands dominated the airwaves? The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Sly & the Family Stone, Cream, Boston, AC/DC, Black Sabbath...and this is just in one decade. What happened?

Instead, we now get watered-down crap from your run-of-the-mill emo or screamo bands, or whatever the hell they call it nowadays. I honestly doubt that Panic! At the Disco is going to stand the test of time twenty or thirty years from now. There are only a few bands left out there that help maintain a good name for mainstream rock, and out of those (Chili Peppers, U2, Tool, Green Day, Pearl Jam), it may be coming to the end for many of them. There are a few bands that have sprung over the past few years that show promise (Incubus, Jet, John Butler Trio, Razorlight); however, with the exception of a few, most do not have that incredible, almost supernatural creative spark that the classic bands seemed to have.

And for these reasons I am grateful for indie rock. Very few indie artists are crazy, anti-commerce weirdos who believe that anything that sells isn’t real “art” (which probably makes Pavement something of a frowned-upon exception). I don’t look at it that way. I don’t like how there is this hate-it-or-love-it attitude towards indie rock. If a band doesn’t want to sign, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to make money, or they don’t want people hearing their music. I respect a band that doesn’t want their creativity muddled by corporate execs with big-name record labels. nbtc__dv_250

With Schizophrenology, The Majestic Twelve have struck solid gold. They have combined a pop-rock sound with some intelligent poetry. Many of the songs are based on politics, while the rest are poetic yet just as refreshing. It’s an interesting combination, almost, well, schizophrenic.

These lyrics aren’t your average “I hate the government” spew that you often hear when bands attempt to say something enlightening. For example, on “Thank God Everything On TV Is A Lie,” frontman Kenyata Sullivan almost raps “Our future as a global force depends on our sobriety / Pornography corrupts us, it makes us less than pure / And if everyone found Jesus, all those fags would have a cure.” Irony is probably the theme of our generation, and Sullivan puts it to good use combining it with some relevant topics.

Every record that I have ever loved has at least one song that you can’t get enough of. It’s not only the song that I love, but it’s the way it’s placed on the album. On Schizophrenology, it’s “Break It And Breathe.” The album builts up to it, a magnetized center of emotion, and here it is released in the form of amazing metaphors and beautiful music. I would almost recommend this album solely for this one song if the rest weren’t just as good.

This would have been a near perfect album if it hadn’t been for the sixth track, “Grandfather.” It really is a pretty song, classical in most any sense, but I just didn’t get into iy. The placement of the song is actually perfect but it just doesn’t measure up to the rest of the album.

This should be a classic indie record in years to come. Most all the songs are great and the styles of playing vary as to keep the listener on their toes. The lyrics are innovative and fresh. What more can you ask for? Get this now.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2006 Brian Birnbaum and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent Release, and is used for informational purposes only.