If 2007’s Bazaar
Bazaar by Birds of Avalon was a boogie van’s worth of ‘70s riffarama,
bursting at the bellbottoms with BOC, Sabbath, Skynyrd and Cheap Trick, BoA v.2009 finds the Raleigh rockers setting the controls for the
heart of the Prog. Which isn’t totally out of the blue, as the previous rec
included a few cosmic jim-jams more Alice Coltrane than Alice Cooper. There’s a
thematic connection, too: BB included
“Lost Pages From the Robot Repair Manual,” and Uncanny Valley is conceptually inspired by a Japanese roboticist’s theory on why
anthropomorphic automatons tend to creep humans out.
Indeed, from the claustrophobic, rumbling psych of “Side
Two” to the dissonantly riffing, King Crimsonesque “Spirit Lawyer” to the
twinned-guitar, echo-chamber kineticism of “Your Downtime Is Up” (a sinister
tale about a child who encounters his double and gets his identity stolen), an
ominous sense of foreboding runs through this remarkable suite of tunes,
leaving you feeling vaguely unsettled long after it’s over. Shades of Blade Runner.
Standout Tracks: “Your Downtown Is Up,” “Peregrinations” FRED MILLS