Aleks and the Ramps "Pisces Vs. Aquarius"
It takes only minutes after the short introduction and into the first proper song, to hook you into the banjo-driven, surrealist-pop, acid-musical world of Aleks and the Ramps. Weird, fun, and lyrically and musically imaginative; a thinking-person?s melodic brew that is infectious, unpredictable and an absolute delight to listen to. Eclecticism runs rampant. They flip genres within a song faster than one flips album sleeves in a Salvation Army record bin. In spectacular seamless leaps, they move from prog rock, to math rock, to electro-dance, to brit pop, to oscillator noise, to guitar-feedback freakouts, to doo-wop five-part harmonies, sometimes all in one song; there?s even a cover of Roxette?s ?It Must?ve Been Love? sung entirely in Spanish and for some reason, it works. Somehow through all of this, they don?t come off as some weird for weird?s sake band. Why? I don?t know exactly, but partially because these songs are impossibly well-written, thought-out, and skillfully executed. There?s a mad kind of logic here that leads through this zany collection of songs. They?re having fun and they?re inviting everyone in on it as well. Who couldn?t love their attitude? Madcap black humor meets quirky lyrical wordplay in a sudden death match and everyone wins in their demented little world. This is party music for the asylum; the morose will mope no more. I hesitate to use overarching words like brilliant, genius, or the like, but this comes as close as I?ve heard in a while. It reminds me of the feeling I had in the 90?s when I first heard Magnetic Fields, not in sound necessarily, but in spirit, and musically this is far more adventurous and out there. It?s not flawless, but its imperfections make it human and personal. What more is there to say except grab a copy and keep an eye out for what they do next, something truly special is happening here indeed. 8/10 -- Todd Brooks (26 February, 2008)