CITAY – Dream Get Together (2010)

You probably wouldn’t know if from reading my blog entries, but I actually do have a rather deep fondness for jam-based music. Now, I know, I know, I’ve slammed The Mars Volta for meandering and being directionless in the past, but really, I don’t mind excessive rocking out once in a while, but with one caveat – you’ve gotta devote yourself to it completely. No band does (or did, I should say) this more shamelessly than Liquid Tension Experiment. Their music has no frills, offers no surprises, and completely sounds like what you’d expect most of the members of Dream Theater (when they were younger, anyways) jamming away furiously to sound like. It’s sheer wild-ass technical masturbation at its finest; to paraphrase a review of theirs I once read, it’s a book that’s amazing solely because it has so many more pages than the other. They bypass all manner of artiness and taste and go right for the brain’s aural pleasure centers; prog-pornography, yes, but it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not.

The Mars Volta couldn’t claim the same; with their latter sins, they want to impress you. Liquid Tension Experiment, by contrast, just want to make A Noise Unto The World. That’s all. And that’s why I love them. And Estradasphere. And Comets On Fire. And Secret Chiefs 3. And Citay? Well, I’m not so sure. This being the first of the band I’ve heard, they seem more concerned with melding all the with the associations of the Rock’n Roll of Yesterday together than anything else. I’m having a tough time recalling the last album I heard wherein the desire to sound classic was this transparent. I mean, Citay’s myspace page lists bands like My Bloody Valentine. Melvins and Rufus Wainwright as “Influences” – either they’re being ironic (gross.) or they didn’t want The Grateful Dead to be up there all by its lonesome. While Dream Get Together isn’t terrible, I’m not sure what it accomplishes; it’s not likely to thrill Deadheads, and non-Deadheads will be little more than amused by it.

Citay don’t mean anybody any harm, and Dream Get Together is not likely to give you an aneurysm or make you swear at children like some albums might. But it leaves you feeling sort of cheated. I’m all for bands tapping into the past, but I’m not into bands painting a picture of it. In the end, it only leaves me feeling like I never got to where these bands wanted to take me.

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