By: Kerry McNeil
Looking back to their extensive live roots, the Disco Biscuits released Otherwise Law Abiding Citizens exclusively at Camp Bisco X to commemorate the festival’s tenth year. The album, made in two weeks back in November at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA, doesn’t feel as rushed as the time frame suggests, and is certainly well mixed with a much more live sound than their previous release, Planet Anthem.
The Disco Biscuits’ intense fan base was split in their reaction to Planet Anthem in 2010, some fans feeling it was too poppy and strayed too far from the Biscuits’ signature sound—while others liked the new direction the band took with the release. With Otherwise Law Abiding Citizens, the Biscuits seem to take a page from their pre-Anthem efforts.
Opening strong with “Great Abyss,” a ten minute instrumental jam, the Biscuits fall straight back to their more fundamental jamtronica sound that has already enjoyed an extensive onstage life. “Abyss,” shows off the band’s strong instrumental skills with Allen Aucoin banging away to the infectious beat on the drums, Marc Brownstein slappin’ away on the bass, Jon ‘the Barber’ Gutwillig bringing amazing guitar melodies to the table, and Aron Magner on keyboards/synths, really elevating the jam.
Up next, “Spraypaint,” a crowd favorite from their first set at Camp Bisco X as well as many other live shows, also lends to the live feel of the album with it’s upbeat, screaming guitars from Gutwillig and fierce drumming from Aucoin.
Tracks like “Feeling Twisted,” “Bombs,” and “Neck Romancer,” also sound fun for a live setting, with quick, powerful beats and catchy synths, plus the excellent instrumentals and quirky vocals expected of the Biscuits.
“Portal to an Empty Head,” is a fantastic, guitar melody heavy explosion with really catchy lyrics—“here’s my portal to an empty head,” will definitely be a line that crowds shout along with throughout the electric-charged jam.
“Catalyst,” slows down the pace a little, with a vibrant synth melody from Magner and lingering vocals over groovy guitar lines from Jon ‘the Barber,’ that really burst to life toward the end.
Heavy, reverberating synths from Magner and roboticized vocals on “We Like to Party,” make for a hard dance jam that crowds would rage to live.
Closing out with “Lunar Pursuit,” the Biscuits open with echoing synths that lead into a fast-paced guitar jam, full of Aucoin’s furious drumming and more spacey synths from Magner, creating a very planetary vibe to close Otherwise Law Abiding Citizens with a bang.
The Disco Biscuits make a short, two-week period sound like much more with Citizens, surely pleasing fans who were disappointed with Planet Anthem for what it lacked of their roots, while also creating an album full of tracks that will destroy in a live atmosphere. The tenth year of Camp Bisco X was certainly commemorated well with this release, which you can pick up on the Biscuits’ website for $4.99, or at a lesser quality for free with an email address. Quite the bargain. (http://www.discobiscuits.com)
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