Galápogos syndrome (ガラパゴス化 Garapagosu-ka) is a term of Japanese origin, which refers to an isolated development branch of a globally available product. Galapogos, the four-year-old death pop band from Brisbane, are hard to describe. In their brief period of existence, they have already released two full-length albums and numerous EPs.
Galapogos’ album, Feel or Suffer, was released at the end of last year. Now, we listen to Parakeet Parachute, an interesting mash-up of sci-fi and spoken word.
Their latest production, Feel or Suffer, has bought me great joy, introducing me to some of the most interesting and thought provoking music that has ever crossed my virginal ears. The latest single to be released from the new album is the 8 minute track Parakeet Parachute. The track begins with sounds and samples you would expect from a sci-fi film, disjointed and buzzing and ringing through the airwaves.
New sounds slowly appear as the old ones fade. Created by those who can see beyond the general spectrum of what we have been taught is ‘good’ within conventional music, this is real and groundbreaking. Listing Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Slint, Yo La Tengo, Blonde Redhead, Patti Smith, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Breeders and The Drones amongst their influences, its no doubt that they’re creating the goods.
The sci-fi samples eventually fade, replaced by a narrator who speaks over crackles. He’s demanding and you are forced to try to take in the words that he is saying, while trying not to lose yourself in all the bizarre and interesting sounds being formed around you. Galapogos know how to build tension. The musical styling swaps, morphs and alters at such perfect moments you barely register it.
The message of the song is enhanced by these intense and provoking noises. The lyrics become more amplified and it begins to sink deep. Layers of repetition later, and the entire vibe of the song has suddenly shifted. It sounds more like a lo-fi punk track than a sci-fi, lost in space anthem.
It should not work – but somehow it does. To take it from one direction and completely flip it without it seeming strange or disjointed, Parakeet Parachute flows in the most unusual way and is so completely captivating. Galapogos are the kind of thing the this industry needs more of.
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