Album Reviews

Steve Moore & Majeure – Brainstorm

on February 10, 2012, 7:57am
steve-moore-majeure-brainstorm C-
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If you chop a band in half, are they necessarily still of that same band? Steve Moore and Majeure (a.k.a. Anthony Paterra) are better known as members of Pittsburgh space rockers Zombi, and while much of this split EP sounds largely similar to the bulk of that band’s regular output, they also take the opportunity to experiment a bit, showing slightly different sides to their songwriting.

This EP yanks apart Zombi’s two major creative forces and lets each member explore his own on little miniature planets of sound. Brainstorm is divided into two sides, the first being made up of four tracks by keyboardist Steve Moore. These should be enough to satisfy fans of the bigger band; they’re largely the same ’80s genre film soundtrack-recalling instrumentals, full of piercing and arpeggiated synths (i.e. perfect music to get chased by Jason Vorhees to). The fast-paced “Enhanced Humanoid” is the most compelling of his contributions.

Listeners should stay, however, for drummer Majeure’s half, which is dedicated to one 20-minute soundscape, menacingly titled “Atlantis Purge”. The piece weaves through genres ranging from ambient drone to a prog-ish, Tangerine Dream-esque synthesizer suite in its latter minutes. It’s all about building atmosphere here, and if you let yourself just sink in, it’ll make for a heady, extended trip.

Listening to the EP digitally, the transition from Moore’s half to Majeure’s is a bit rough, but given that the physical release is vinyl-only, it’s probably intended to be listened to in two parts.

If you’re a Zombi fan, don’t let the premise deter you: Brainstorm is more or less a Zombi release, spiritually and aurally, and a necessary grab if you dig their regular crazed synthwork and retro horror soundtrack vibe. Newcomers, however, are better geared toward Spirit Animal or last year’s Escape Velocity.

Essential Songs: “Enhanced Humanoid”, “Atlantis Purge”

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