Genetic Mishap, the curious prodigy of R.W. Marino, has created an eclectic arrangement of songs and style on Blue Genes. It declares it 'baffles fans and critics' and 'like many things in this world . Many people don't get it' and that 'if you don't, try shoving the CD up your ass. If that doesn't work try shoving the CD case in there too.(*)' A) CDs don't fit there, straight up, or sideways. And no, I'm not going to attempt it piece by piece. B) What is there to get? I will like it or I won't.
The album is reminiscent of Beck's work before he tried on fashion mixing hip-hop with Bee Gee's cool. Each song is its own island of styling and crafting. Blue Genes twists between sample-based collages, goth-inspired soundscapes and blues-based tomes that are second cousin to Jim Morrison.
Summer Rain begins as a quaint lounge piece that fattens out with choruses peppered with industrial undertones. The compilation's mission of being eclectic is cemented with its next tune, Endoplasmic Arthoscope. Using the repeated line "Psycho's don't explode when sunlight hits them, I don't care how crazy they are," anchors this pounding-drum wall of sound. Decay of Humanity is a standout. A cross between the Church and Depeche Mode it is gentler, but more urgent. A slower pace and minimalist tone bring about a nice mix. Dominate is the token dance industrial that no 'eclectic' album would be without.
We get right back to the Jim Morrison lounge with Lonesome. A seedy electric-guitar blues tune that plods blue and sweet. Flamelord's Theme lives up to the album's challenging declaration. Weaving samples and sequences around a solid rhythm it could easily go next to Negitivland on your shelf. (Or in the hopper, depending on your tastes.)
Rounding out the album are some standouts like Blood and Guts Groove. Listen for its similarities to Beck's Beer Can, stay for all the things that aren't like Beck at all. Something More brings back the arena sound. Mixing the arrangement stylings of Pink Floyd with the love-song stylings of Poison. Listen for the Neil Young-esque vocals as he reaches for high notes. Finishing out the pilgrimage to Jim Morrison's Paris apartment bathtub is the Doors cover of Been Down so Long. Not groundbreaking, but as well as any Doors cover done in Doors style could be.
Genetic Mishap's Blue Genes is a competent album with a number of standout tracks. It does a great job with tube-amp guitar sounds that too many bands use poorly, usually after pulling some tubes while listening to Aerosmith on 8-track. Its only stumbling points are the hard pans on the guitar lead or bass mix, that often sound a bit disjointed. Usually these are pulled back in together with fattened choruses and vocals that know their range, and use it well.
(*) This reviewer shall take no responsibility for personal injury, or enjoyment, whatsoever, if you do actually shove this up your ass.
Post: GMI Independant Records, P.O. Box 112524, Pgh, PA, 15241, USA