Polar Extremes: Strange Visions (digital outlets)

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Captain Zodiac's Dictionary
Polar Extremes: Strange Visions (digital outlets)

Okay, this is just odd fun . . . with a sense of smarts and cultural history behind it.

Not too many locals might even recognise the horse-flesh resonance of the opening title, Racing This Time (did the great commentator Reg Clapp coin that phrase?), but the album begins with a hip-hop funk take on what sounds like lo-fi Talking Heads beat-driven pop filtered through the sensibilities of Alexandra Park: “There's a lot of horses out there but only one finish line . . .”

Then the track gets really weird and kinda metaphysical.

Or something.

Later on No.1 On Anybody's List sets strident beats to a wobbly spaced-out backdrop and might even be a love song: “You make me skip like a compact disc, you make me freeze like a DVD . . .”

Captain Zodiac's Dictionary pulls together common and uncommon phrases in a bizarre comedic rap of rhyme and nonsense (and some serious comments woven through) and it has a loose-limbed white-funk quality-meets-Monty Python also: Did he just say “a thimble of oil, a dash of stupidity, quixotic quintessence quididity”?

Probably.

Getting the fingers from an invisible hand and “let's jump down the rabbit hole”?

Quaint is the tripped out rhyme-master pop-smart brain behind this and clearly he enjoyed himself. It rubs off too.

It is fun, surreal, clever, fantasy-full, adultly childish (and vice-versa) and makes its points (the dreamy pop of Consume!)

The six-minute So What If I'm on Television is the most serious and “straight” piece here and it's a gem. There's real serious things going on too, as on the Yeats-quoting No Place/Prepare which is as doom laden as you might think, but quite hypnotically beautiful too.

From the same country that brought you Split Enz's Mental Notes, Mother Goose, Sam Hunt, Low Profile's Elephunk and Ponsonby DC's G'Day Mate.

Check it out on Spotify, bandcamp and iTunes.

It's very fun and so addicting, as an American once said.

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