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Ninety Two Degrees – ‘Dystopia’

Michael Puskas Music
Alice In Chains, The Cult, Kyuss, Stone Temple Pilots, Queens of the Stone Age
Release Date
Michael Puskas Music
Hard/Stoner Rock

After several hours of head-scratching, the closest thing to a definition of Ninety Two Degrees’ giant debut effort ‘dystopia’ was to describe them as ‘early Queens of the Stone Age fronted by Robert Calvert and Saffron from Republica styling themselves on Stone Temple Pilots’. A bit strange, right

Anyway, away with such frivolity as definitions; what’s the album like? Well, it’s a riotous, entertaining lump of the 90s brought to a thoroughly modern edge by a quality production and inventive songwriting, with guitars ranging from ethereal to brutal, dual vocals with immense range, groove-driven blues drumming, and bass tones that could make Les Claypool smile ear to ear.

The only issue here is the length. It’s fine to release a large album, obviously, and you need look no further than Manic Street Preachers for proof that a long debut album can be a success story; but when the tracks all have somewhat of a theme, as is the case here, much after the first hour glazes over for the first few listens and might not fully sink in for the casual listener. This isn’t at all a musical criticism, as every bit of the album is engaging and entertaining in isolation, but anything outside of huge progressive concepts (see; ‘…Topographic Oceans’, ‘The Lamb Lies Down…’) really struggles to break the 1hr30 mark convincingly, and this, despite being excellent in all its constituent parts, doesn’t quite make itself an exception.

Overall, this is an amazing album that suffers only from being too long

"Musically brilliant, not very concise"

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