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Platypus

The union of four extremely talented yet totally different musicians, all from differing backgrounds to record an album together often breeds disparate reactions from the press and fans alike. It is an interesting affair that can turn out one of two ways; the resulting album can either sound very much like an over-indulgence of technical ability or a cohesive collection of well written material that, as fate would have it, was meant to be. With the release of 1998's debut When Pus Comes to Shove, Platypus comfortably slipped into the latter category. The band's follow up album, Ice Cycles takes their style into a new dimension giving rise to a darker, heavier sound while retaining all the quirks that made the first album so special.

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), the small, aquatic, egg-laying monotreme mammal has for years been looked upon as a bizarre freak of nature and so to is the nature of it's musical counterpart. Formed in late 1997, Dream Theater bassist John Myung explains how the band came to be... "I made hundreds of phone calls and I had permanent writer's cramp", he remembers. "I simply had a number of songs on this little tape recorder and they deserved to be heard. The time was right. First I asked Derek, then Ty and finally we found Rod." John is of course referring to keyboard player Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Planet X), guitarist, vocalist Ty Tabor (King's X) and drummer Rod Morgenstein (ex-Winger, Dixie Dregs). All of which have had a significant impact on the rock scene over the years.

Myung is undoubtedly THE rock bass player of the Nineties. As a member of Dream Theater he has played an important role in several of the most notable progressive metal albums in recent history. Keyboard extraordinaire and showman Derek Sherinian has been a sideman to such luminaries as Alice Cooper and Kiss amongst others. He was of course a member of the aforementioned Dream Theater and has since gone on to form his own band Planet X. Ty Tabor, revered for his role as guitarist and singer in King's X while also juggling a solo career adds his considerable talents to Platypus. His style of playing is both impressive and complex and vocally, Tabor shines as always, offering his Beatle-esque harmonies to the fold. Rod Morgenstein made his name in the world of rock as a member of bands like Winger and Dixie Dregs. "Rod was the perfect choice," Tabor exclaims. "Dixie Dregs are absolutely legendary, I always loved their music. They were a huge influence on me. Rod comes from another age of rock music, from another direction. So that lets us go about composing the music for our songs from another aspect."

What they came up with, with their first album was a magical blend of the bands formative musical influences. From straight ahead rock through to heavier fusion incorporating everything from The Beatles to Jeff Beck with a hint of Deep Purple. With Ice Cycles, the differences are subtle and gradual yet still noticeable. The album has a darker edge than its predecessor and in some ways there is a maturity developing within the band both in attitude and in sound. The overall style of the album runs the gamut from late 60's era Beatles to the creative fusion of the 70's through to the hard rock foundations that propelled Dream Theater and King's X through the 80's and 90's. Ice Cycles seems to be a more homogenous mixture than the band's debut. It has a well balanced sound where every note not only does full justice to each musician's virtuosity but also leaves the listener hungry for more. The artistic canter of the eight songs on the album emerges into the present and will no doubt be looked upon in the future and regarded as something of a classic!

Genres:
Progressive, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
From:
America
Similar Secular:
Dream Theater
Website:
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Votes:
4
Views:
889
Overall Rating computed from Album Ratings
Year Title Rating Views
2000 Ice Cycles 486
1998 When Pus Comes To Shove 534

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