~“Let me save you with this record.
Let me put the headphones on for you, and smile while you listen.
Cut to your point of view, watch me smile while you listen.
That’s the sound of you becoming a better person.”
[-quote from Olivia Gatwood’s viral spoken word ‘Manic Pixi Dream Girl’]~
In their April 2nd 2017 full-length release ‘Ripe’ Medusa’s Disco doesn’t waste more than 4 seconds on subjective neutrality before smoldering off in a shameless –yet accessible- counterculture direction, with the nearly eight minutes of unconventional intrigue that is opening track ‘State of Mind’. Making sure their stage is firmly set on a platform political in its levels unapologetic self-respect, kindled time, and inferno of applause-worthy experimentation and attention to detail, that holds focus and relevancy throughout. Logical but undictated progression takes ‘State of Mind’ into ‘Twisted Dentist’ [#2], in which long-term fans of the band will immediately recognize the quirk of Alex Augment’s beats and as the band’s cult class “Novocaine” –Now matured, and brought to a higher resolution under the masterful production combination of David Patterson II and MD frontman Wynton Huddle, along with Patterson’s positively genius mix work. ‘Otherwise’ [#3] will also strike a familiar chord –no pun intended- with Medusa’s’ followers or enthusiasts of Prava Studios -who MD had released with back in 2015; Flourishing in contradiction between a particularly head-bobbing bassline from Tyler Smith, overall deceptive buoyancy, and a suicidal holocaust of human emotion.
‘Divine’ [#4] abruptly dials back the tempo, dignity in spaciousness, taking time in a hearth fire of harmony, and exhaustedly spiteful peace. ‘Give Up’ [#5], brings a moment steady in identity, yet with a delightful low-key nod to the structural brilliance of old-school experimental heavy weights, such as the various parts of ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ off Pink Floyd’s 1975 release ‘Wish You Were Here’; Making it an album standout as a calming spin on the question of human resilience –as guarded as it is intimate.
Interest isn’t lost on the chatoyant shift into ‘Atomic 7’ [#6] -another standout- and excellent capture of the bands vibe and writing, in the form of a passionate range of cosmic commentary.
‘Ode to SEEDS’ [#7] gets served a surprising almost 90s era Savatage riff, that you have to love Hunter Root and Wynton Huddle a little bit more for, and self-highlighting lyric in the form of a beautifully articulated “Death. By. One. Kiss”. ‘Whatshisface from Whatevertown’ [#8] -the only known MD song to be well described and as dismissive as the title implies- holds as a lighter “idgaf” implication, and debatably the most casual, bonfire feeling of the entire album. A fresh-intro’d take on ‘Beautiful Creature’ [#9] closes, pulling at heart strings, screaming out to the skylines of your perception, yet as vibrant and warm as a late summer sunset.
Ripe stands as a powerful statement of artistic passion, and legitimate ability; heavy, raw, unconventional, dark, incredibly human; a fierce alternative + psych rock testimony to personal life experience, and the potential of millennial underground scenes. Music that was meant to be written, from men who play as though their lives depend on it.
Utterly devoid of bullshit, fanfaronade, filler, and predictability.
This is not a 2.5 minute per song, whiny hipster rock record; Nor for the faint of heart.
[10/10.] Take note.