Review

There are quite a few similarities between Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Mr. Bungle. Both acts hailed from the West Coast (the former from Oakland, the latter from Eureka), both include multiple bandmembers, and Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance released SGM's 2004 release, Of Natural History, via his Web of Mimicry label. But the most apparent similarity is that both specialize in quirky/experimental music, with an undeniable Middle Eastern sound at times. With Bungle's split in the early 21st century, it appears as though SGM are poised to pick up the slack, as evidenced by such releases as their 2001 debut, Grand Opening and Closing. The album sticks out like a sore thumb among what the majority of typical rock music sounded like at the time. Utilizing both traditional instruments and also homemade ones, SGM show off their appreciation of heavy metal on such tracks as the album opening "Sleep Is Wrong" and "1997 (Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's...)," but there is an eerie/creepy side to them, as evidenced by the haunting "Ablutions." For fans of experimental and uncompromising rock, be sure to buy a ticket to this Museum. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi

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